Social workers are part of your cancer care team, providing emotional support, coping strategies, resources for financial assistance, and addressing complex family or social concerns that can arise at any stage of your cancer treatment and survivorship.
And it's all tailored specifically for you and your family, and the circumstances of your cancer journey and your life.
At your first consultation with radiation oncology or medical oncology, you'll receive a questionnaire that asks you to identify, on a scale of one to ten, your immediate concerns and needs.
This information gives our oncology social workers a starting point at your first meeting, and they're able to dive right away into your most pressing priorities.
Our oncology social workers are committed to seeing you within 48 hours after you're referred to them, at a time that's convenient for you.
They are available to support you with:
Coping with cancer treatment
Caring for those close to you
Financial and resource assistance
Ensuring your wishes are met
Putting together a survivorship plan
For the first time as a nation, people are surviving cancer longer and living better-quality lives after treatment. That is leading to another phase of cancer for millions of people: cancer as a chronic condition.
That makes a survivorship plan all the more important, and our social workers can help develop one with you.
Your survivorship plan includes:
Since each cancer patient is unique, so is the information provided by the oncology social workers.
The services are the same, no matter what kind of cancer you have. A young mother with breast cancer receives the same level of support and assistance as a gentleman with prostate cancer, even though the specifics of their needs may change.
The stage of your cancer may mean a different type of conversation, depending on your emotional and physical needs.
But regardless of your type or stage of cancer, your social worker serves as a consistent point of contact and a reliable source for advice, support and direction for you and your family.
The goal is to give you one less thing to worry about.
Each of EvergreenHealth's oncology social workers has a Masters-level education in social work and is licensed by the state of Washington. They also have specialty training in oncology. You won't find these credentials at all cancer centers; some may just use the business office, for example, to help with financial issues, or assign an aide to schedule transportation.
The variety of services offered is broader than you will find in most clinical practices. These services are accessible, and open-ended. You can reach out for help anytime, even after your treatments end.
You don't just receive handouts. You'll meet one-on-one with a social worker, who gets to know you and your family, who can help you fill out paperwork for any assistance you might need, who can anticipate what challenges you may be facing before they become overwhelming.
Your physician, your family, your nurse, essentially anyone you interact with on your cancer journey can refer you to our oncology social workers. You can also reach out to them on your own.
To contact an oncology social worker, call Cancer Support Services at 425.899.2265 or visit our offices near the Halvorson Cancer Center in Green 1290.
Cancer support services are available to all Halvorson Cancer Center patients and those they define as their family.