The Emergency Department Social Worker provides medical and behavioral social work services for Veterans who present in the ED and/or Veterans admitted on the acute care units. Services often involve care coordination and consultation with medical, nursing, and social work staff in other care areas to which Veterans are referred, consulted, and/or also treated and/or co-managed. Examples include, but are not limited to Primary Care, Mental Health, Homeless services, or Specialty Medicine. 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. 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. 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 asocial 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. 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. 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: Social workers must be proficient in spoken and written English. Grade Determinations Social Worker, GS-11 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. NOTE: For appointment licensure or certification at this level please refer to paragraph 3c. OR 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. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: In addition to the experience above, candidates must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and ability to coordinate services. Independently conducts psychosocial assessments and treatment interventions to a wide variety of individuals from various socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, educational and other diversified backgrounds. 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. Independently implements 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. Provides consultation services to new social workers, social work graduate students, and other staff about the psychosocial needs of patients. References: VA HANDBOOK 5005/50, Part II, APPENDIX G39. SOCIAL WORKER QUALIFICATION STANDARD dated September 10, 2019 Physical Requirements: Work, divided between office and clinical settings, is primarily sedentary. May require prolonged standing, moderate walking, and manual dexterity. Requires carrying light items, such as books, files, or laptop computer. ["Primarily assigned to the Emergency Department (ED) with responsibility to provide direct services to Veterans and their families who present for services and/or treatment in the Emergency Department. The social worker may also provide onsite assistance for the acute medical wards during their Tour of Duty. Responsible for providing services to include but not limited to: psychosocial screening and assessment, short-term, solution focused counseling with individuals in crisis, caregiver support, treatment planning and intervention, case management and care coordination, referral for internal and external resources and benefits, discharge planning, health education, advanced health care planning, and discharge planning and post intervention follow up. The advanced practice Social Worker evaluates psychosocial needs and applies social work interventions with a high degree of autonomy, exercising independent judgment and initiative in carrying out social work functions and in applying social work values and ethics to complex situations that arise in the ED setting during their Tour of Duty (which includes weekend hours). Assesses and provides appropriate social work emergency care treatment options, interventions, discharge planning and community resource options. Special attention will be provided to potential acute care admissions for reasons of self-care deficit, lack of medical necessity, homelessness, placement, and/or social or environmental factors. Provides assessment, evaluation, treatment, and reporting for cases of suspected or reported abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation which present or are identified in the ED and acute care wards during his/her Tour of Duty. Works closely with members of the acute psychiatry consult team and Suicide Prevention Program to ensure appropriate assessment, care, and follow up for Veterans experiencing acute psychiatric crisis. Maintains data tracking related to consults assigned to them to ensure workload efficiency and compliance with social work performance measures. Screens ED patients for alternate level of care options and provides education to patients, caregivers, and staff on those options for care. Facilitates discharge planning for patients that do not require an acute hospital admission from the ED setting and possibly those that may require discharge planning after normal business hours. Ensures that all patients that are not assigned to a PACT are provided education regarding how to be enrolled, transfer care and/or who their assigned PACT team may be. Collaborates with Social Work & Community-Based Services, PM&R, CLC, Ambulatory Care, Patient Care Services, AODs, Acute Inpatient Teams and Mental Health to facilitate acute rehabilitation admission, transfer to a skilled nursing facility, initiation or resumption of skilled or nonskilled homemaker/home health services, respite, and/or referral to other VA and/or community programs. Applies case management and discharge planning principles to the ED patient population to ensure appropriate utilization of resources and level of care. Facilitates ED patient flow by identifying and resolving barriers which may hinder effective patient care. Engages in process improvement activities that are focused on efficient care delivery and promote positive clinical and quality outcomes including avoiding and reducing unnecessary admissions, readmissions, ED visits, and time spent in the ED. Works closely with Veterans to identify and support their preferences in care and personal treatment goals, and offers resources and support tailored to the uniquely expressed needs and desires of the Veteran. Serves as the key link for education and psychosocial support for Veterans, families, and caregivers. Demonstrates an understanding of the range of treatment and skills needed for all adult patients related to their physical limitations, psychological needs, and age-associated illnesses and conditions. Provides a full range of psychosocial treatment interventions, including, but not limited to Veteran and caregiver support for emotional needs, information and referral for financial and other resource needs provided by VA and community agencies, and appropriate and timely involvement of palliative and hospice care. Provides intensive and comprehensive psychosocial case management and care coordination for episodes of emergency care. Provides specialized clinical case management centered on disease and/or diagnosis-specific education, treatment, symptom management, and self-care. Work Schedule: 4 x 10 hour shifts 8:00am-6:30 pm (includes weekend hours) Compressed/Flexible: Available Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,298 health care facilities, including 171 medical centers and 1,113 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.