Singapore University of Social Sciences

Social Work in Healthcare

Social Work in Healthcare (SWK356)


Healthcare gives an overview of social work practice in the medical and health setting. It introduces students to the fundamentals of healthcare social work practice and discusses the values, knowledge and skills needed to work in hospitals, home care, nursing homes and hospice care. The health delivery system and the impact of acute care and chronic illnesses on individuals and families are examined. Prevention and health promotion at the community level will also be addressed.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY REGULAR SEMESTER


  • The context of healthcare social work
  • Values and ethics in working with sick people
  • The impact of illness and disease on sick people, their carers, and family
  • Theoretical perspectives
  • Working with vulnerable groups
  • Working in the layers of healthcare settings
  • The Singapore healthcare system
  • Healthcare financing
  • Healthcare service delivery
  • Emerging trends in healthcare

Learning Outcome

  • Discuss the ability to practice in a holistic way that prioritises good outcomes for service users and their families.
  • Appraise Singapore’s healthcare philosophy, funding, and service delivery framework including the private, not-for-profit, and voluntary welfare sectors.
  • Analyse how socio-economic, cultural, religious, psychological, and demographic factors relate to illness, disease, and disability.
  • Examine the range of skills needed to work in various healthcare settings.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of illnesses, diseases, and disabilities and an ability to engage medical concepts appropriately.
  • Apply the appropriate ethics and values in working with sick service users and their families.
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