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@becsbuddy

Do most hospitals and oncology practices have an oncology social worker? If not, where can a patient find one?

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Replies to "Do most hospitals and oncology practices have an oncology social worker? If not, where can a..."

Becky, social workers who specialize in oncology are commonly a member of the cancer care team at cancer centers and large oncology department.

@michellewalsh, can you share how patients get referred or can self-refer to an oncology social worker at Mayo Clinic?

Hello Becky,
Thank you for your question. The role of the social worker many times depends on the provider and location. Hospitals usually have social workers on staff to assist with discharge planning when patients need further assistance. Many larger oncology centers have licensed clinical social workers on staff to assist patients for a variety of reasons during and after treatments. Patients and caregivers should ask if this service is available in their center and request a consult if needed. If your center does not have a social worker on staff, some organizations can assist you with locating a counselor or social worker that is covered by your insurance and can meet your needs. The Association of Oncology Social Workers provides a list of resources for patients and their families. Many non-profit organizations offer free services online and by phone/video.

Some of the non-profit organizations that can provide assistance in locating a counselor or providing free services include:
Cancer Support Community (https://www.cancersupportcommunity.org/cancer-support-helpline)
Cancer Care (https://www.cancercare.org/casemanagement)
Be The Match (https://bethematch.org/patients-and-families/support-for-you-and-your-family/one-on-one-support/counseling-services/)
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (http://https.org/support/other-helpful-://www.llsorganizations/patient-and-caregiver-resources-support-and-counseling)

I hope these resources are helpful.
Michelle Walsh, LCSW
Oncology Social Worker

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