Oncology Social Work

Virginia Cancer Specialists » About Us » Our Team » Oncology Social Work

What is an Oncology Social Worker?

An oncology social worker is a clinical professional who holds a master’s degree in social work and has years of cancer training and experience. An oncology social worker understands that a cancer diagnosis and treatment can affect relationships, employment, finances and often brings new stress and challenge into your life. Your social worker is committed to partnering with you and your family during and after your cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Virginia Cancer Specialists is committed to caring for our patients well-being during and after their cancer diagnosis, by providing psychosocial and emotional support services to you and your family.

How we can help?

A cancer diagnosis can be a shock to a patient impacting them emotionally and physically. Oncology Social Workers are part of the health care team that can assist patients and their loved ones with the the challenges of a cancer diagnosis. Private and confidential consultations are offered in our Fairfax office, and are available to patients and/ or family members.

How a Clinical Social Worker can be of help can include the following :
  • Adjustment to Illness
  • Coping Skills
  • Problem Solving
  • Caregiver Stress
  • Family/Couples Counseling
  • How to Talk to your Children
  • Work Issues
  • Sleep Issues
  • Survivorship Issues
  • Advanced Care Planning
  • Hospice
  • Palliative Care
  • End of Life Counseling
  • Anxiety
  • Stress Management
  • Depression
  • Grief and Loss

What We Value

Virginia Cancer Specialists social work services are committed to ensuring that our patients and their loved ones have access to the psychological, social, practical, and spiritual support and resources they need. We will gladly speak with you, evaluate your needs, and make recommendations and referrals that address your life’s circumstances.

You Have the Right to Informed Decisions:
  1. You are entitled to receive information from us about:
    • Our availability and office hours
    • The scope of our services
    • The methods of support and interventions utilized
    • Any fees associated with our programs and services.
  2. You may seek additional support and terminate our relationship at any time.
  3. If, in our judgment, we are not able to help you because of the kind of problem you have or because our training and skills are not appropriate, we will inform you of this fact and refer you to another professional who may meet your needs.
  4. You have the right to decline our recommendations and referrals.
  5. If you need urgent help please contact 911 for immediate psychological support.
Our Availability
  1. We are available to meet with you and your family during normal business hours.
  2. We are unable to conduct in-home or hospital visits.
  3. We are not available by phone or in person on Saturdays and Sundays.
  4. If your oncologist or social worker believes that you would benefit from or if you request ongoing psychotherapy, grief counseling or psychiatric services, we will help you identify, contact or refer you to those providers.

Documentation

Virginia Cancer Specialists social work services will document your visit in our electronic medical record, noting only that you have been here, what interventions happened in session, and the topics discussed. Under the provisions of the Health Care Information Act of 1992, you have the right to a copy of your file at any time. You have the right to request that we correct any errors in your file. You have the right to request that a copy of your file be available to any other health care provider at your written request.

Confidentiality

There are limits and exceptions to legal confidentiality within the context of an oncology setting. It is important to discuss with your social worker the types of information that will be shared. There are other exceptions to confidentiality. These include but are not limited to the following:

  1. If you sign a release of information granting us permission to release information.
  2. For continuity of care and care coordination.
  3. If there appears to be an intent to harm yourself or others.
  4. If there is abuse, neglect, or suspected abuse or neglect of children, the elderly, or others unable to care for themselves.

Privileged Communication:

There are limits to privileged communication within a health care setting. Privileged communication is the understanding between the professional and patient that the information revealed by the patient will not be divulged to others without expressed permission.

We do not fall under privileged communication. Privileged communication generally only pertains to psychotherapeutic relationships.

Virginia Cancer Specialists complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call Central Scheduling at: (703) 208-3155, from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM

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