Social work is a profession characterized by diversity. Social workers engage in a broad range of activities within many types of settings and with many different people. Some work intensely with individuals and families, while others work with small groups, organizations or with whole communities. Social work is a profession devoted to helping people function as well as they can within their social environments or by changing their environments to make that possible. Within the hospital setting, social workers will work closely with the patient and his or her family to help determine and attain the appropriate resources required by the patient when he or she is discharged.
Professional social workers can join the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with more than 155,000 members. NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards and to advance sound social policies.