Social Work - VA Bedford Healthcare System
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VA Bedford Healthcare System


Social Work

Located in Bedford, MA, the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital (also known as Bedford VA) is a state-of-the-art medical center that provides a broad range of inpatient and outpatient services, including:
  • Primary Care
  • Mental Health Services
  • Homeless Veteran Services
  • Employment Assistance
  • Women's Health Services
  • Long Term Nursing Care
  • Dental
  • Hospice
  • Optometry
  • Select Specialty Services
  • Compensation and Pension exams
Bedford VA has a full continuum of mental health programming, including several nationally known exemplars in the areas of Vocational Services, Peer Services, Homeless Services and Outpatient Mental Health services.  Our patient-centered and "recovery oriented" treatment philosophy has been a national leader in psychosocial rehabilitation, research and education.

The Social Work Trainee Program

The social work trainee program offers expansive clinical training for MSW candidates.  Bedford VAMC has 17 paid stipend positions yearly for second year MSW interns from accredited Graduate Schools of Social Work placed in various settings throughout the facility. This program offers clinical placements in community and facility-based treatment programs, including inpatient, residential, and outpatient care. The MSW Training Coordinator organizes and oversees the program while individual preceptor’s/supervisors are assigned to each student for one on one mentoring, and supervision.

In addition to the clinical work done within a student’s program the internship opportunity offers Student Education Series (SES) which is a weekly didactic series held on Mondays.  SES consists of social work case consultation and skill building, navigating the field and a social work group intern project. These didactics include case presentations, guest speakers addressing a variety of topics, group process, and the opportunity to share learning experiences with peers. Bedford VAMC also offers a host of trainings available to social work interns including Psychiatric Grand Rounds, Geriatric Grand Rounds and Swartz Rounds to name a few.
Field placement hours vary based on the requirements of the school you attend with a minimum of 20 hours per week. Monday is a requirement day for field placement.

Within the MSW Intern Program there are two tracks; the Comprehensive Second Year track and the Interprofessional Education (IPE) track.  Within the Comprehensive track the MSW intern’s peer cohort consists of other SW interns.  As a whole the group will complete a group project to present to Social Work Service and potentially other disciplines throughout the facility. Within the IPE Program social work trainees are placed alongside psychology, nursing and family medicine trainees, giving interns the opportunity to work collaboratively and professionally to enhance patient care by providing veterans with treatment from a multi-disciplinary and interprofessional approach.  The IPE program offers didactics in interprofessional care and coordination.  Students will be asked to complete group projects within their own IPE teams.

Exactly What is IPE?
Interprofessional work can be described as the relationship between various disciplines as they purposefully interact with each other to work and learn together to achieve a common goal to provide patient centered care. This is different from interdisciplinary which means two or more disciplines work or learn together to solve a problem or gather information. The IPE program offers didactics in interprofessional care and coordination. Bedford VAMC’s IPE vision is to be a national leader in patient-centered, whole-person team-based healthcare through interprofessional collaboration in every interaction.

What is the Role of the MSW Training Program Coordinator?
The Program Coordinator develops and implements the educational program, manages the application and interview process, meets individually with students as needed, collaborates with the supervisor in evaluating student progress and learning needs, services as a consultant to the student supervisor and field affiliates, evaluates the quality and effectiveness of the training received, analyzes the quality and effectiveness of the social work intern program.

What is the Role of the Field Preceptor?
The preceptor or student supervisor as it can be referred to is the major educational resource to the student in field placement. They formulate and evaluate the student learning needs and develop an educational contract. Supervisor’s select and assigns cases appropriate to the social worker’s learning needs, are responsible for the daily teaching of the intern as are required to meet with them for at least 1 hour of weekly individual supervision (or as required by each school). The preceptor works collaboratively with the Coordinator of Graduate Student Training in reviewing and evaluating the educational objectives and progress and reviews social work goals and progress in achieving them monthly. In addition, the supervisor reviews and signs off on student documentation.

Application Process
Prospective candidates should speak with your school’s field education faculty.  Read More about our Social Work Programs, OF306.PDF, VA_1058d_2017_2018, Internship_Application2018
Attached forms must be completed and submitted along with resume. 
Students should be prepared to provide 2 professional references and must be US citizens by the start of field placement.
Once accepted students must be willing to:
Complete a CORI and fingerprint background check
Provide a TB/PPD skin test within three months of start date
Complete an on-line introduction and privacy training for trainees prior to the start of placement

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Contact Info


  • Bedford VA Medical Center

Contact Number(s)


Hours of Operation

  • M - F, 8 am - 4 pm