Primary care physicians, surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, nurses, oncology nurses…the list of people you can interact with during your cancer journey is seemingly endless—and it can change constantly. Each one of these professionals plays a different role in treating your cancer. But, add one more to the list, the oncology social worker—the person responsible for treating YOU.
A social worker seeks to improve the quality of life and well-being of individuals, families, couples, groups and communities through research, policy, community organizing, direct practice, crisis intervention and teaching.
For someone impacted by cancer, a social worker can make all the difference. Oncology social workers support patients and their loved ones in a myriad of ways, including providing available resources, information regarding medical and insurance coverage and tips for how to talk to your loved ones about your diagnosis. Oncology social workers often offer relaxation techniques to reduce anxiety, lead support groups and help identify areas of distress. They’re not just advocates for the patient, but for the whole family.
With 170 locations across the country and around the world, the Cancer Support Community is the largest employer of oncology mental health professionals, including many licensed social workers. At CSC we strive to ensure that cancer care is high-quality and patient-centered, and social workers are the core of this, as they focus on the whole patient in their every-day work.
All this month, CSC is saying a BIG thank you to our social workers for the unending support they provide to people impacted by cancer. Through our #31DaysofSW campaign on Twitter, you can read our daily tributes to our social workers, and this week you can learn more about some of them on our blog when we take you through a day in the life of 4 CSC social workers.
How have social workers changed your cancer journey? This month we are inviting you to share your story with us, and say a special thank you to your social worker by using the hashtag #31DaysofSW on our Facebook page and Twitter account. You can also share your story here.
For more resources, information about CSC’s programs and services and to speak to a licensed-mental health professional, please call the Cancer Support Helpline at 1-888-793-9355. The Helpline is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9.p.m. ET.