Social workers are available for oncology patients to help deal with a cancer diagnosis and potential treatments.
Our goal is to assist you through the treatment process in a number of practical and supportive ways. The following are some ways social workers may help you and your family:
- Assisting with problem solving, coordination and adapting to complex issues related to your health care needs
- Arranging home health or hospice care and/or durable medical equipment
- Referral for financial, lodging or transportation resources related to your treatment, medications needs or other care
- Dealing with emotional reactions following a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment(s)
- Coping with physical changes from surgery or treatment
- Helping you and your family learn about your disease and treatment
- Looking at changes in sexual functioning
- Discussing work concerns
- Making quality of life decisions in coordination with your treatment goals
- Crisis intervention, grief and loss concerns
How an Oncology Social Worker Can Help
An oncology social worker provides services such as counseling, education, information and referrals to community resources, including support groups. An oncology social worker often acts as a liaison between people with cancer and the medical team, and helps patient find ways to navigate the health care system. He or she works with the medical team to make sure cancer patients get the information they need to make informed choices about their care and the support needed to manage the day-to-day challenges of living with cancer.
Taking Care of the Whole Person
There are many aspects of a person’s life outside of cancer. Cancer affects each person in a different way. An oncology social worker has a master’s degree as well as specialized training in how a cancer diagnosis affects a person and his or her family and friends. The oncology social worker is respectful of the ethnicity, spirituality, family situation, unique strengths and challenges of each individual living with cancer, and it is his or her job to represent a person’s interests and needs to the medical team.
For most people, a cancer diagnosis brings new feelings and experiences. Talking to a professional who has helped other people manage similar situations may help a person find ways to improve quality of life, manage fears and find hope. A social worker talks to people about the different aspects of adjusting to the cancer and helps find strategies to adapt to and manage health care concerns. This can happen through individual, couples and family counseling; support groups; and referrals to community agencies that have additional support programs.
To Reach a Social Worker
- In Gainesville: 352-265-0224 (Patient and Family Resources)
- In Jacksonville: 904-244-4133 (Case Management/Social Services)