Oncology Social Work and Psychosocial Care
A diagnosis of cancer, its treatment, and recovery can have a profound impact on a person’s life. Billings Clinic Cancer Center has two licensed clinical social workers who are certified in oncology, as well as a two additional social workers and a psychiatric nurse practitioner, to help patients and family members cope with a cancer diagnosis.
Every patient diagnosed with cancer should consider visiting with a social worker at least once during their treatment.Our social workers assess each person’s unique needs and develop a plan of appropriate support.
Services Provided by Oncology Social Workers
Emotional support and general coping strategies
Social and emotional health and support are essential components to physical healing. Cancer impacts all life roles from diagnosis through treatment and beyond. We offer support and ideas for general coping strategies to assist with emotional concerns for both the patient and family members.
Information and education
Our social workers have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help navigate topics such as advance directives, family leave, disability benefits, supportive and palliative care, home health, assisted living, and hospice.
Problem solving and referral to community resources
A patient navigator with the American Cancer Society is available onsite to connect patients with community resources that offer assistance with financial, transportation, lodging, and other practical needs.
Individual and family counseling
Individal and family short-term counseling sessions with Master’s prepared licensed psychotherapists are also available. Appointments range from 30-50 minutes depending on specific needs. Billings Clinic will bill Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance for these services. Financial assistance is also available.
Wellness and support group offerings
Patients and their loved ones are invited to attend our free support groups and special events. The Cancer Center Wellness Calendar keeps you up to date on classes and support groups designed for cancer patients and their families.
Tobacco cessation assistance
Our tobacco cessation program provides options and alternatives to the “cold turkey” approach. Research shows greater success rates with combined individual sessions, group support and pharmacologic assistance (either over-the-counter or prescription)
Additionally, our Pediatric Center offers ongoing support and group activities for kids who have cancer and their families and our Inpatient Care Management team offers assistance with discharge planning and transitions of care.