Profile Of Hospital Social Workers

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Demographic profile of the respondents denotes the characteristics or socio-economic background of study population such as age, sex, education, caste, employment, income etc. When designing a research, the researcher needs to assess who to study and how to breakdown overall response data obtained from the study into meaningful groups of respondents. Both assessments are based on demographic considerations. Social and economic factors play a vital role in the growth and development of an individual. These factors also have impact upon ones thinking and attitude. Therefore, the demographic profile of a sample is an important and indispensable factor in determining the status of individuals in an organization. These characteristics of respondents are independent variables that cannot be manipulated. Hence, it is relevant to describe demographic profile of the sample to facilitate data analysis in the form of cross tabulation and compare the data across multiple demographics. In any case such a description is very much contextual to the study.

In the present study, the data is collected from professional social workers employed by major hospitals in Delhi regarding their status through interview schedule. The first section of the interview schedule is concerned with the demographic characteristics of respondents. In this chapter, the researcher has analyzed the primary data related to the personal and demographic characteristics of social workers working in hospitals of Delhi. The data pertaining to variables such as age, gender, category, educational qualification, area of specialization, salary, length of service, nature of appointment and type of hospital are presented.


Age is one of the most important biological characteristics of the individual and a vital factor in the analysis of profile of the participants that cannot be overlooked. It determines the nature of social category of people because of its being one of the bases for the ascription of status and its relation to social organization. In the analysis of the profile of the respondents, age is an important factor, particularly when we deal with such aspects as participation of respondents in major functions of the organization.

The sample has been classified into four age groups ranging from twenty years and above. It is observed that among the 145 respondents, 26.2 percent are less than 30 years of age, 42.1 percent fell in the age group of 31-40 years, 15.9 percent are in the age group of 41-50 years and remaining 15.9 percent are above 51 years of age. It is concluded that majority of social workers in hospital setting under the study are quite young and only 15.9 percent are seniors with more than 50 years of age.


Sex is another most obvious fact about any person and cannot be ignored while attempting data analysis of a scientific study. Like teaching and Nursing, Medical Social Work is also considered as stereotyped female profession which is developed as extension of the traditional role functions of the females in the family, in tasks requiring nurturing, socializing and helping. Women are supposed to play the expressive role in the society that emphasizes value of emotions; spontaneous relationships, warmth and humanistic approach.


Manifested in Articles 15 and 16 of the Indian Constitution, the reservation system in India allows the government to set quotas in education and employment for certain socially disadvantaged groups like Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Class (OBC) to ensure their representation in public life. The study reveals that hospital authorities also gave representation to different categories while recruiting hospital social workers in Delhi. 75.2 percent of respondents in the study belong to general category, 12.4 percent of respondents are OBC, 10.3 percent are SC and 2.1 percent are from ST category. The percentage of male respondents in General, OBC and SC categories is higher in 31-40 years age group than other age groups. An equal number of female respondents in SC category are employed in all age groups. The only male ST respondent comes under 41-50 years age group and female ST respondent falls under 31-40 years age group only. Overall percentage of respondent in all categories is higher in 31-40 years age group.

Educational Qualifications

Education is an important component of demographic study as it is related to the standard of living and higher status of people in the community or society. It also indicates about the level of technical knowledge and expertise of a person in his/her field of work. In our country, social work education mostly begins with a post graduate degree in majority of teaching institutions and also a post graduate degree is widely accepted as basic minimum qualification for the appointment of social workers in hospital settings.

The present study supports this fact. It reveals that 2.8 percent of the respondents has bachelor’s degree in social work, 1.4 percent of the participants hold diploma in social work, 62.1 percent of the respondents hold Master of Social Work (MSW) degree, 23.4 percent hospital social workers did Master of Arts (MA) in Social work, 6.9 percent of the participants did M.Phil and 3.4 percent of the respondents hold PhD in Social Work/Psychiatric Social Work qualifications. Hence, it is found that majority of hospital social workers are post-graduate in social work.

It is reported that only a small number of respondents did BSW in the age group of 20-30 years and 31-40 years. Only 3.3 percent of respondents in 31-40 years age had diploma in social work. There was no much difference in the percentage of respondents having MSW degree except in the age group of 51 years and above.

The percentage of respondents possessing M.A degree in social work is higher in the age group 51 years and above than other age groups. There is no significant difference in the education level of respondents according to the gender.

Area of Specialization

In our country, a large number of social work institutions are imparting education and training in social work. Some institutes teach generic social work courses and few others offer specialization courses at post-graduate level. The specialization in Medical and Psychiatric Social Work gives complete exposure to social work students about their role and functions in hospital settings. Other specializations except HIV/AIDS, Family and Child Welfare and Generic Course do not provide any orientation in medical services and medical settings.

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It is observed in this study that 20.7 percent of the respondents hold specialization in medical and psychiatric social work, 12.4 percent of respondents are specialized in personnel management and industrial relations, 6.2 percent of the participants has studied community development as specialization, 7.6 percent of the subjects has family and child welfare as specialization and 11.7 percent of hospital social workers has other specialization like correctional administration, HIV/AIIDS, Social Policy etc. The study also revealed that 41.4 percent of the respondents has studied generic course in social work.

It is also found that younger respondents of 20 years to 40 years has mostly studied generic course in social work. In the age group 51 years and above, more number of respondents is specialized in medical and psychiatric social work. It is seen that more percentage of male respondents has personnel management and industrial relation as the specialization and more percentage of female respondents has family and child welfare and community development as the specialization.

Type of Hospital

Although the government has framed guidelines for the appointment of minimum number of social workers in hospitals and medical colleges, yet, its implementation depends upon the willingness of different hospital authorities to recruit hospital social workers. In practice, there are variations in the appointment of medical social workers. This study points out that majority of hospital social workers in Delhi are employed in government hospitals and private hospitals are not very keen on recruiting trained social workers. Even within government sector, the central government run hospitals and medical colleges appear to recognize the value of hospital social work more than the state government run hospitals. As per the data, 65.5 percent of the respondents are employed in central government hospitals; 25.5 percent of the respondents are working in hospitals which fell under the jurisdiction of state government; and 9.0 percent social workers are employed by private hospitals.

In all age groups, higher percentage of respondents is employed in central government hospitals. Mostly, younger social workers are employed in private hospitals. It is also seen that the percentage of respondents working in central government hospitals was slightly higher in 51 years & above age group and percentage of respondents working in state government hospitals was slightly higher in 41-50 years age group. The data reveals that higher percentage of male respondents is employed in central government hospitals. There was no much sex-wise difference between respondents working in state government hospitals. More females were employed in private hospitals.

Length of Service

Length of service is an important determinant of one’s contentment/adjustment in the current job. It also throws a light on the trends of recruiting manpower in a particular section or department of the organization. The results of study show that 40 percent of respondents have around five years experience. About 22.8 percent respondents have working experience in the range of ten years. Only 6.9 percent respondents are working for twenty years and 18.6 percent respondents are working for more than twenty years. There is significant difference between number of male and female respondents employed for more than 21 years. In 11-20 years of service, number of male respondents is slightly higher than female respondents.

It is observed that majority of respondents in the study have five years experience and are young.

Nature of Appointment

Type of appointment i.e. permanent or temporary or contractual is directly linked to the job security for the employee. While the regular or permanent employees feel more secure in the job; other temporary and contractual personnel may enjoy security and satisfaction in their job. In the current study, it is observed that 51 percent of respondents are working in permanent position, 4.1 percent are temporary and 44.8 percent of respondents are employed as contractual employee of major hospitals in Delhi.

In central government hospitals, more male respondents are temporary employee as compared to female respondents. Almost equal number of male and female social workers has contractual status in private hospitals.


The salary is yet another vital component of job satisfaction for the employee. The salary that is commensurate with the education and experience of the person not only increases his/her job satisfaction but also encourages him/her to perform better in the current job. On the other hand, less salary or discrepancies in salary structures results in dissatisfaction and half hearted approach in the work performance of an employee.

It is observed that an equal number of respondents draw salary of up to Rs 40000 and Rs. 40001-70000. 13.1 percent respondents are taking salary in the range of 70001-1Lakh and 16.6 of respondents has their salary above Rs 1 Lakh.

It is also found that permanent employees are drawing higher salary than contractual employees. Majority of respondents drawing salary in the range of rupees forty thousand per month are employed on contractual basis. No contractual social worker is offered a salary of above rupees one lakh. It is concluded that there exist disparity in the salary structure between regular and contractual hospital social workers in Delhi.


The demographic characteristics of the respondents reveal that greater number of participants of the study is female and younger generation. One third of the respondents belong to general category. Majority of respondents possess Master’s level qualifications in social work. Hospitals didn’t give any consideration to the specialization of the candidates in recruitment as only 20.7 percent respondents in the study underwent specialized training in medical and psychiatric social work and 41.4 percent respondents studied generic course in social work. Central government hospitals are at the forefront in recruiting professional social workers. In all, 40 percent respondents had five years experience which indicates that greater number social workers were employed recently. Almost equal number of respondents was permanent and contractual. However, permanent employees were drawing higher salary than contractual respondent

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Profile Of Hospital Social Workers. (2021, October 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from
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