University Hospitals Social Workers Support Compassionate, Coordinated Cancer Care
Social work services is an important part of the cancer care team at Supportive Oncology Services at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Social workers provide a wide range of services to help patients and their families cope with a variety of issues related to cancer diagnosis, treatment and management.
Social workers at UH Seidman Cancer Center help connect patients, families and care team members with the necessary health care resources. When questions about diagnosis, treatment, aftercare or other challenges arise, the social work team is often first in line with reliable answers.
Social Workers Help Facilitate Coping Strategies
While the clinical team develops effective treatment strategies and our mental health counselors provide emotional support, our social workers work directly with patients and families to coordinate and support these activities. For example, our qualified social workers:
- Counsel patients and families on strategies for adapting to a cancer diagnosis
- Facilitate coping strategies by training patients and families with proven tools and techniques
- Work to help family members communicate with each other and provide special training to help parents discuss cancer with their children
- Help patients ask the most effective questions to optimize their appointments with health care professionals
- Act as an important liaison to psychological care when anxiety, depression or other emotional issues are observed
Social Workers Coordinate Team Efforts
The social work services team at UH also coordinates and facilitates a variety of health care services both inside and outside the hospital setting, such as:
- Administering referrals to community-based agencies
- Coordinating post-hospital care, long-term care and home care
- Connecting patients to resources needed to navigate financial issues including hospital billing, Medicaid/Medicare and charity care
- Coordinating transportation resources
- Helping patients obtain any medical equipment recommended by the clinical team
Social Workers at UH Play a Key Role in Discharge
Our social workers also play a key role in discharge planning, whether the patient is ready to leave the hospital and go home or transfer to a secondary health care facility. Social workers stay on top of paperwork, admission requirements, home care services, outpatient services, equipment needs and more. They work closely with the clinical experts to ensure that patients and families have access to any resource needed after hospital treatment ends.