Social Worker (Inpatient Outpatient Medicine Emergency Room)
Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Mental Health/Social Services
Internal Number: 712493600
The Emergency Department serves Veterans on a walk-in basis related to a wide variety of conditions, problems and needs. The Social Worker ensures that health care meets the needs, as defined by the Veteran and medical team. Social workers are uniquely prepared for this role by virtue of their education, training, and experience which prepares them to understand the person-in-situation and the influences that family and community have in impacting the health care needs of Veterans. Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met. Basic Requirements: United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy. Education: Have a master's degree in social work from a school of social work fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Graduates of schools of social work that are in candidacy status do not meet this requirement until the School of Social Work is fully accredited. A doctoral degree in social work may not be substituted for the master's degree in social work. Verification of the degree can be made by going to http://www.cswe.org/Accreditation to verify that the social work degree meets the accreditation standards for a masters of social work. Licensure: Persons hired or reassigned to social worker positions in the GS-0185 series in VHA must be licensed or certified by a state to independently practice social work at the master's degree level. Current state requirements may be found by going to http://vaww.va.gov/OHRM/T38Hybrid/. Exception: VHA may waive the licensure or certification requirement for persons who are otherwise qualified, pending completion of state prerequisites for licensure/certification examinations. This exception only applies at the GS-9 grade level. For the GS-11 grade level and above, the candidate must be licensed or certified. At the time of appointment, the supervisor, chief social work or social work executive will provide the unlicensed/uncertified social worker with the written requirements for licensure or certification, including the time by which the license or certification must be obtained and the consequences for not becoming licensed or certified by the deadline.] (a) For appointments at the GS-9 grade level, VHA social workers who are not licensed or certified at the time of appointment must become licensed or certified at the independent, master's level within three years of their appointment as a social worker. Most states require two years of post-MSW experience as a prerequisite to taking the licensure/certification exam, and VHA gives social workers one additional year to pass the licensure/certification exam. In states such as California, Washington, and others where the prerequisites for licensure exceed two years, social workers must become licensed at the independent, master's level within one year of meeting the full state prerequisites for licensure. (b) A social worker who does not yet have a license that allows independent practice must be supervised by a licensed independent practitioner of the same discipline who is a VA staff member and who has access to the electronic health record. (c) Different states have different levels of licensure or certification, making it difficult for VHA staff to determine the independent practice level. Each state, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia completed surveys identifying the level of licensure or certification allowing independent practice. Copies of the surveys are on file in the VHA Office of Care Management and Social Work Services, and a summary spreadsheet of the levels of licensure or certification is available to social work professional standards board members for purposes of determining whether the social worker's level of licensure or certification meets the VHA qualification standards. All states except California use a series of licensure exams administered by the ASWB. Information can be found at https://www.aswb.org/. The ASWB is the association of boards that regulates social work. ASWB develops and maintains the social work licensing examination used across the country and is a central resource for information on the legal regulation of social work. The ASWB offers three examinations. The master's examination is generally used by states for the independent practice level of licensure or certification, while the advanced generalist and the clinical examinations are used for the advanced practice level of licensure or certification. Differences between the master's and the advanced exams demonstrate the expectation that advanced practice social workers will have a more sophisticated knowledge of practice theory and its application. English Language Proficiency: Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria). Grade Determinations: Social Worker, GS-11 (1) Experience and Licensure. Appointment to the GS-11 grade level requires completion of a minimum of one year of post-MSW experience equivalent to the GS-9 grade level in the field of health care or other social work-related settings, (VA or non-VA experience) and licensure or certification in a state at the independent practice level. OR (2) Education. In addition to meeting basic requirements, a doctoral degree in social work from a school of social work may be substituted for the required one year of professional social work experience in a clinical setting. (3) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, candidates must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: (a) Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and ability to coordinate services. (b) Skill in independently conducting psychosocial assessments and treatment interventions to a wide variety of individuals from various socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, educational and other diversified backgrounds. (c) Knowledge of medical and mental health diagnoses, disabilities and treatment procedures (i.e. acute, chronic and traumatic illnesses/injuries, common medications and their effects/side effects, and medical terminology) to formulate a treatment plan. (d) Skill in independently implementing different treatment modalities in working with individuals, families, and groups who are experiencing a variety of psychiatric, medical, and social problems to achieve treatment goals. (e) Ability to provide consultation services to new social workers, social work graduate students, and other staff about the psychosocial needs of patients and the impact of psychosocial problems on health care and compliance with treatment. Preferred Experience: 1+ years of prior Emergency Department experience References: VA HANDBOOK 5005/120 PART II APPENDIX G39 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11. Physical Requirements: There may be some walking, standing, sitting, bending, and carrying of light items. ["Duties include but are not limited to: Responsible for coordination and consultation with clinicians for the development of treatment plans. Set achievable treatment goals with the Veteran/family and other providers. Facility subject matter expert on VA and/or community resources regarding family services. Must have a high level of skill and expertise to establish an effective therapeutic relationships with Veterans and or/their families while the Veteran is in the emergency department.. The incumbent is able to independently work with Veterans and their families who are experiencing a wide range of complicated medical, psychiatric, emotional, behavioral, financial, legal and psychosocial problems while the Veteran is in the emergency department. Responsible for educating providers on the available family mental health services and for assisting them in establishing appropriate referrals based on the Veteran's needs. Collaborate and consult with mental health services providers when needed. Experienced in making rapid assessments and developing crisis management plans for admission to mental health inpatient programs. Experienced in completing Comprehensive Suicide Risk Evaluations and Safety plans. Must have knowledge of the crisis intervention approach and the role of each health and allied health care team members as well as an understanding of the role of the social worker in the emergency department. Must independently complete thorough psychosocial assessments to determine the psychosocial functioning and needs of Veterans and/or their families. The incumbent is able to assess functional acuity of the patient and provide appropriate interventions. The incumbent must be able to utilize this assessment in facilitating the Veteran's maximum use of treatment for attainment of the highest level of independence that is possible and practicable. Must actively participate as a member of the emergency department interdisciplinary treatment team. Must be proficient in medical and mental health diagnoses, disabilities, and treatment procedures, including acute, chronic and traumatic illnesses, substance abuse disorders. Demonstrates the ability to teach and mentor staff and students in the special area of practice. Demonstrates an understanding of the range of treatment and skills needed for all Veterans with mental disorders, including those with severe and persistent mental illness and co-occurring disorders. Must facilitate action for community placements through collaboration with Veterans and their families as well as interdisciplinary treatment team members to ensure that appropriate community placements are completed in a timely manner. Community placements can involve but are not limited to referrals to group and family care homes, assisted living facilities, adult day health care programs, contract nursing homes, Community Living Centers, residential care homes, inpatient and outpatient hospice services. Must have an understanding of caregiver stressors, ability to conduct caregiver assessment and provide appropriate caregiver specific interventions. Knowledge of VA benefits including information about referral to and the provision of family mental health services within Kansas City VA Medical Center, other medical centers in VISN 15, and community care options. Responsible for utilizing, developing, and implementing methods for measuring effectiveness of practice and services in his/her the emergency department. Helps with facilitating patient flow in the emergency department. Identification of surrogate decision makers when appropriate. Must serve as a liaison between Veterans and/or their families and VA and community resources in order to ensure thorough delivery of services. Must provide consultation and education to Veterans and their families regarding community resources, VA benefits and specialty programs, and Advance Directives. This includes the incumbent's knowledge of the process for accessing and/or coordinating community-based services, including information and referral for additional services from other VA programs, other government programs, and community programs. Must be available to provide consultation to other treatment team and staff members regarding psychosocial needs of Veterans and/or their families and the impact of the identified psychosocial problems on the Veteran's health care planning and compliance with treatment. Must maintain knowledge of Veteran's benefits and services, community resources, and process for making appropriate referrals to community and other governmental programs or agencies. Scheduling transportation for follow up appointments and other needed VA services when appropriate. Assist with scheduling home health , skilled nursing placement for emergency department patients. Assist with reporting elder abuse and child abuse."]
About Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Providing Health Care for Veterans: The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,255 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.