Career Profile – Social Worker

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Name: Ita Long

Job: Medical Social Worker

My interest in social work began at a young age. I did voluntary work with elderly people as a teenager.   It gave me an awareness of how important it is to help vulnerable people. When I realised you could make a career out of this, in social work, I knew it was what I wanted to do. I didn’t do a social care degree course. I did a BA and later did the Diploma in Social Policy and subsequently a post qualification course – a Diploma in Social Work.

I’m currently employed in a hospital setting. I don’t think that there are particular characteristics needed for social work. However, as in any occupation that involves working with people, it is important to like people, to want to work with people, to communicate, to have self-awareness, to reflect on your interactions with people and to be open to learning. If you like working with people social work provides a great opportunity to do this.

There is the certainty of continuously developing your skills and working in very interesting areas; it is possible to build on your expertise through a variety of avenues such as counselling. It can be a disheartening profession in some ways as our role is not sufficiently understood by other professionals, public service etc.   If you want to be a high-income earner there is limited opportunity in social work. Working with people and the individual is at the heart of social work, and most often it is with people who are the least advantaged and most vulnerable.   It is a wonderful profession with great opportunities for those with an interest in this.


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Whichcollege.ie is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses at certificate, diploma and degree level as well as providing information about career paths and directions.
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