Credentials

The Society for Transplant Social Workers offers three credentials:

  • Certified Clinical Transplant Social Worker (CCTSW)
  • The Society launched the Certified Clinical Transplant Social Worker (CCTSW) credential in 2009. This credential recognizes transplant clinicians who have met strict eligibility requirements encompassing education, licensure, experience and peer recommendations.

  • Certified Clinical Social Worker – Mechanical Circulatory Support (CCSW-MCS)
  • The Certified Clinical Social Worker – Mechanical Circulatory Support (CCSW-MCS) credential followed in 2015. This credential is available to qualifying social workers who work in advanced heart therapy programs. 

  • Dual credential, Certified Clinical Transplant Social Worker and Mechanical Circulatory Support Social Worker (CCTSW-MCS
      • Clinicians who work in both transplant and mechanical circulatory support are eligible for a dual credential.

Social workers meeting the eligibility criteria below may submit an application for certification. Credentials are valid for three years. An application must be made before June 1st of the expiring year for recertification. 

Purpose Statement

The purposes of the credentials offered by the Society for Transplant Social Workers are:
  • to recognize individuals who have met professional standards and who possess clinical expertise based on specialized knowledge, skills, and experience in transplantation and/or mechanical circulatory support
  • to help members of the Society for Transplant Social Workers distinguish themselves in today’s competitive market
  • to enhance professional and public recognition
  • to reassure patients and their families of professional social work services specific to transplantation and mechanical circulatory support
  • to increase awareness of transplant and mechanical circulatory support social work as highly specialized, professional classifications of clinical social work
  • to provide a mechanism for the attainment of a professional distinction
  • to promote professionalism within the transplant and mechanical circulatory support social work community

Core Functions

The core functions of a Certified Clinical Transplant Social Worker or Certified Clinical Social Worker – Mechanical Circulatory Support are as follows:

  • psychosocial assessment and psychosocial diagnosis – of living donors, transplant recipients pre- and post-transplant, and mechanical circulatory support candidates
  • psychosocial interventions, treatment planning, implementation, and coordination
  • psychotherapy and/or counseling on issues related to:
    • adjustment to disability and chronic illness
    • adjustment to machine dependency
    • adjustment to life-threatening or terminal illness
    • end of life care
    • adherence to one’s medical treatment plan
    • preparation for the waiting period
    • donors
    • financial challenges
    • rehabilitation, including physical, emotional, and social issues
  • crisis intervention
  • case planning, case management, resource management, care planning
  • patient advocacy, resource brokering, and information and referral services
  • continuity of care planning, including reassessment and evaluation
  • admission diversion planning
  • patient and family health education to maximize patient wellness and graft survival
  • interdisciplinary collaboration and consultation
  • documentation, report writing, and record keeping
  • discharge planning and coordination
  • program development and resource development
  • clinical research and publishing

Eligiblity

Core Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for any of the credentials offered by STSW, individuals must meet all of the following core requirements:

  • be a member in good standing of STSW
  • hold a master’s degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the Canadian Association of Social Work Education (CASWE), or a body determined to be equivalent. The program must have been accredited at the time the degree was received.
  • be licensed at the highest level of social work licensure available to healthcare practitioners in the state/province/territory or country in which they practice

They must also meet additional requirements, which are detailed below for each credential.

Certified Clinical Transplant Social Worker (CCTSW)

To be eligible for credentialing as a CCTSW, individuals must meet the core requirements outlined above and also:

  • currently work as a clinical social worker in a transplant center or in a transplant-related field
  • have served for a minimum of two years as a post-MSW social worker in a transplant center or in a transplant-related field
  • have experience with at least one transplant population, but be aware of multiple areas of transplantation populations and have basic understanding of the principles related to living donors and adult and pediatric recipients
  • have earned at least 20 transplant-specific continuing education units (CEUs) in the 5-year period prior to applying.

Certified Clinical Social Worker – Mechanical Circulatory Support (CCSW-MCS)

To be eligible for credentialing as a CCSW-MCS, individuals must meet the core requirements outlined above and also:

  • currently work as a social worker in a mechanical circulatory support center or in a transplant-related field
  • have served for a minimum of two years as a post-MSW social worker in the MCS field
  • have earned at least 20 continuing education units (CEUs), including 5 transplant-specific CEUs and 5 MCS-specific CEUs, in the 5-year period prior to applying.

Certified Clinical Transplant Social Worker and Mechanical Circulatory Support Social Worker (CCTSW-MCS)

To be eligible for the dual CCTSW-MCS credential, individuals must meet the core requirements outlined above and also:

  • currently work as a social worker in a mechanical circulatory support center or in a transplant-related field
  • have served for a minimum of two years as a post-MSW social worker in the transplant and MCS fields
  • have experience with at least one transplant population, but be aware of multiple areas of transplantation populations and have basic understanding of the principles related to living donors and adult and pediatric recipients
  • have earned at least 20 continuing education units (CEU’s), including 15 transplant-specific CEUs and 5 MCS-specific CEUs, in the 5-year period prior to applying.
Apply For Credentials

Recertification

Recertification Requirements

Credentials are valid for three years. An application must be made before June 1 of the expiring year for recertification. To be eligible for recertification, individuals must meet the following core criteria:

  • be a member in good standing of STSW
  • be licensed at the highest level of social work licensure available to healthcare practitioners in the state/province/territory or country in which they practice

They must also meet recertification requirements particular to their credential, detailed below.

CCTSW Recertification

To be eligible for CCTSW recertification, individuals must meet the core requirements outlined above and also:

  • continue to work as a clinical social worker in a transplant center or in a transplant-related field
  • complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education, including 15 transplant-specific CEUs, in the 3 years since last certified

CCSW-MCS Recertification

To be eligible for CCSW-MCS recertification, individuals must meet the core requirements outlined above and also:

  • continue to work as a clinical social worker in an MCS field
  • complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education, including 10 transplant-specific CEUs and 5 MCS-specific CEUs, in the 3 years since last certified

CCTSW-MCS Recertification

To be eligible for CCTSW-MCS recertification, individuals must meet the core recertification requirements outlined above and also:

  • continue to work as a clinical social worker in an MCS field
  • complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education, including 15 transplant-specific CEUs and 5 MCS-specific CEUs, in the 3 years since last certified
Apply for Recertification

CEU Information

Transplant-Specific Education

Transplant-specific education includes any offering from STSW or other transplant-related organizations such as:

  • American Foundation for Donation and Transplantation (AFDT)
  • American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS)
  • American Society for Transplantation (AST)
  • International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT)
  • International Transplant Nurses Society (ITNS)
  • Living Bank
  • Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance (The Alliance)
  • Transplant Financial Coordinators Association (TFCA)
  • United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)

or any presentation with “transplant” in its name.

STSW will accept any of these educational offerings regardless of whether they have been approved by bodies like the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

Attendance certificates are required for all specialty-specific education.


MCS-Specific Education

MCS-specific education includes any MCS offering from STSW or other MCS-related organizations or device manufacturers such as:

  • International Consortium of Circulatory Assist Clinicians (ICCAC)
  • ASAIO
  • HeartMate | Abbott
  • HeartWare | Medtronic
  • Jarvik Heart

or any presentation with terms like “mechanical circulatory support’’ or “ventricular assist device” in its name.

STSW will accept any of these educational offerings regardless of whether they have been approved by bodies like the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

Attendance certificates are required for all specialty-specific education. Social workers applying for an MCS credential must also include their attestation forms from STSW conferences.

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