Health Care and illness

As a Healthcare social worker you will educate, advice and advocate for patients and the general public in matters relating to health care and illness.

What do healthcare social workers do?

A health care social worker work in medical settings to assist individuals or families to assess various healthcare services. They help do everything from identifying the needs of patients to arranging financial supports in pay medical bills. This includes educating and counselling them, advising caregivers & referring to various services .They provide timely interventions to help the patient achieve optimum recovery or rehabilitation goals and maintain quality of life.

What does a typical day at work involve?

  • Checked Assist the client/family to get access to medical care, health and nutritious services etc
  • Checked Assist the needy in recovery from mental or physical illness
  • Checked Collaborate with other professionals to evaluate patients’ medical or physical condition
  • Checked Counsel and assist the clients to resolve crises and overcome challenges in life
  • Checked Plan discharge of patients from care facility to home
  • Checked Conduct educational and awareness programs

Job roles in healthcare social work

The patient advocate may be an individual or an organization, who acts on behalf of patients when they are unable to do so.
Health educators plan and conduct Health education programs designed to facilitate the general health and well-being of the public.
Health advisors create health awareness among patients and their families and develop intervention strategies to improve health.

How to become a healthcare social worker?

Step 1
Take Humanities Stream with Political Science

To be eligible for joining any course in Social Work, you should pass +2 in any stream. But taking humanities stream with psychology in +2 would give you a better orientation towards the field.

Step 2
Take Bachelor’s in any discipline / Bachelor’s in Social Work

A bachelor’s degree in any discipline would make you eligible for higher studies. It is advisable to take a bachelor's degree in Social Work (BSW) which is a 3 year course with internships. Admission requirements would vary depending on the institution.

Note :

Taking psychology as an extra paper or specialization would help in the profession.

Step 3
Take Masters in Social Work

This post graduation degree is a 2 year course. The student can choose the specialisations according to his/her interest. The admission requirement may change depending on the institution or University.

Step 4
Take Mphil / PhD

A higher qualification in the field would be recommended for candidates with research interest.

Health Care and Illness (Social Services) Colleges

Name State District Type Website Course

Requirements for masters in health care and illness (social services)

Requirements for admission into a PG course in one of the top institutions to help you get an overall picture

India (from TISS for MSW)

  • A Bachelor's degree of minimum 3 years duration from a recognized university.
  • TISSNET (national level entrance exam) rank.

Foreign (from The University of Texas at Austin for MSW)

  • A bachelor’s degree
  • Records of academic work
  • Personal narrative statements
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Scores of the Graduate Record Examination General Test (GRE)

To see the entrance exams, scholarships and UG admission details, click here

Skills Required

Communication Skills

A healthcare social worker should have good communication skills as they have to interact with doctors, nurses, home health companies and other healthcare personnel/agencies.

Organizing and Coordinating skills

A healthcare social worker should be capable of organizing and coordinating healthcare services to the public.

Problem Solving Skills

A healthcare social worker must be able to understand various medical conditions, terminologies and find appropriate solutions under complex circumstances.


A healthcare social worker should have the ability to understand the mental, emotional and physical status of patients and help them to overcome the crisis.

Counselling Skill

A healthcare social worker should be able to provide counseling services to individuals and families


  • Checked Hospitals
  • Checked Healthcare Clinics
  • Checked Government agencies
  • Checked NGOs

Top Companies/Organisations

  • Checked WHO
  • Checked Care India
  • Checked CRY (Child Rights and You)
  • Checked HelpAge India
  • Checked Smile Foundation
  • Checked RHCF (Rural Healthcare Foundation)