The social worker...an exceptional role in health care for cancer patients
Written by: Entesar AlYafai – Social Worker – Holistic Care Directorate
The Center paid great attention to activate the role of the social worker at the clinical/medical level, a service that distinguishes the Center due to its commitment to providing integrated care for cancer patients.
The social worker is one of the members of the integrated (multidisciplinary) team that provides the necessary care for the patient. He/she is the link between the patient and the members of the integrated team, providing them with information and exchanging recommendations with them in order to improve the quality of life of patients and remove obstacles that hinder their treatment and life.
Hence, the role of the social worker is extremely important because of its vital effects in supporting patients and their families:
Comprehensive survey: The social worker conducts a comprehensive survey and evaluation of all patients at the center, with the aim of understanding their social, economic, psychological and practical condition, and then identifying the needs that patients and their families may face in various aspects of their lives. This contributes to: providing an initial information base about each patient for the treating team that gives them an understanding deeper into the patient’s condition. And knowing ways to educate patients about the capabilities and sources of support for them in the community.
Psychological social support: The social worker provides psychological and social support during the stages of diagnosis and treatment for patients and their families. He/she works to provide counseling and specialized psychological social support to patients who are going through difficult circumstances as a result of diagnosis and treatment, and helps them deal with the challenges and feelings resulting from the disease as well as social, economic and practical obstacles. It also contributes to developing specialized treatment plans.
Educator and coordinator: The social worker works to understand the needs of patients and their families and to know the available capabilities, opportunities, and possible options in order to provide them with appropriate support. Then, based on the available data, it provides them with information and directs them towards the most appropriate sources to benefit from its services. Here the role of the social worker is highlighted in providing support to patients through relevant institutions such as: social organizations, charitable institutions, and government institutions.
Adaptation and rehabilitation: The social worker contributes to the process of patients’ adaptation and rehabilitation during and after treatment. He helps them adapt to daily life and understand their current capabilities and capabilities and ways to return to society. He provides them with the psychological and social support necessary to restore their normal lives, as he prepares specialized rehabilitation programs, based on for his observations and analysis of patients’ needs, in several areas such as self-care to deal with the effects of chemotherapy, providing housing and transportation during the treatment phase and professional empowerment, and other programs that use community care and the initiatives of various institutions.
Discharge plan and safe home care: The social worker plays an important role in the patients’ discharge plan from the center with the aim of ensuring a smooth and successful discharge experience for the patients, by providing the necessary support to them and their families during this critical period, and ensuring that the home is safe to receive the patient, and that the family is prepared to care for him properly.
In conclusion, the social worker at SQCCCRC performs lofty tasks, and is qualified with many skills that enable him to carry out his role in serving patients. He/she must possess legal, health, economic, and social culture, analytical and deductive skills, and the ability to manage crises, help with solve problems, and deal with various spectrums.