Oncology Training for Social Workers

Brief overview and description of the training.
This orientation training program is aimed at inexperienced social workers with limited knowledge of working in the oncology setting, with patients and their families. The program will be interactive and there may preparation assignments to be completed as part of the assessment program for CPD points.

The training program will greatly support your professional development and equip you with the necessary resources and tools to embark on a fulfilling career in Oncology and/or Palliative social work.

Linda Greeff

Linda is an Oncology social worker in private practice, who holds a master’s degree and has a remarkable personal journey as an ovarian cancer survivor since 1997. Her own experience has profoundly influenced her career path, leading her to become a pioneer in the field of oncology social work in South Africa over the last 35 years. Linda’s unwavering dedication and immense passion drive her to tirelessly facilitate and advance Oncology support services not only in South Africa but also across the entire African continent.

Linda has served on the Ministerial task team for Cancer and on the Exco of the Cancer Alliance. She is currently practicing as a private oncology and palliative care social worker in Cape Town.

Other specialists will be used in sessions from time to time. One or both of the following persons could be included:

Dr Memory Munodawafa
Dr Munodawafa is the new National chairperson of SAASWIPP. She holds a Masters in Clinical Social Work and a doctorate in Psychiatry through to the University of Cape Town (UCT). She is a clinical and oncology social worker by training working in Private Practice in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. She primary interests are promoting student and staff well-being, advocating mental health in the workplace, providing prevention and support for HIV and AIDS, improving palliative care, enhancing the psychology of cancer patients and their families, and developing psycho-social interventions. Her PhD was entitled “Filling the Gap: Development and qualitative process evaluation of a task sharing psycho-social counselling intervention for perinatal depression in Khayelitsha”.


Set Outcomes of this training:

  • Provide an understanding of what it entails to an oncology social worker.
  • Provide resources and skills to improve care delivery along the care trajectory of a patient living with cancer.
  • Will enable the provision of improved care to patients and their families in any context of oncology care.
  • Clearer understanding of working in a multidisciplinary team.
  • You will have an extensive reading list for future learning.

During the 14 hours of training, we will cover the following aspects of psychosocial oncology care.

  1. To provide a basic introduction to cancer illness, exploring what cancer is, warning signs of cancer and the bases of cancer treatment.
  2. The role and scope of practice of the social worker in the oncology team and what would a basic job description entail.
  3. A guideline to assessing the needs of the newly diagnosed cancer patient and an Introduction to the concept of distress management along the cancer trajectory of care.
  4.  The emotional impact of cancer along the trajectory of care and the therapeutic management of these needs.
  5. The multidisciplinary team approach and the role of the oncology social worker. 
Week 1:
Hours 1-2
Cancer 101 Psychosocial Assessment as the basis of care planning and implementation.
What does Cancer mean and entail?
What do I need to learn about cancer treatment to support patients better?
What barriers are there to equitable cancer care?
Week 2:
Hours 3-4  
The role and scope of practice of the social worker in the oncology team and what would a basic job description entail.
Different contexts of work and how they impact your work.  
Week 3:
Hours 5-6:  
Psychosocial Assessment as the basis of care planning and implementation The importance of psychosocial assessment in oncology
The importance of distress management techniques for assessing psychosocial needs of patients and families.
Integration of assessment into care planning.
Week 4:
Hours 7-8:  
Guideline to assessing the needs of the newly diagnosed cancer patient and an introduction to the concept of distress management
Why is assessment needed and what needs to be assessed?
Distress management as part of assessment.
Week 5:
Hours 9-10  
Psychosocial support needs along the trajectory of Supportive Care
Needs at diagnosis.
Needs during treatment.
Needs of patients admitted to a ward.
Discharge planning.
Needs when treatment stops (Survivorship needs)
Week 6
Hours 11-12
Psychosocial support needs along the trajectory of Supportive Care – continued
Needs when a recurrence occurs.
Living with advanced illness. 
Advanced care planning.
Palliative care and symptom management.
End of life (Bereavement phase)
Week 7 Hours 13-14Teamwork /Collaboration and Self-Care for Oncology Social Workers
The importance of teamwork in oncology care.
Effective collaboration with healthcare professionals.
Challenges of working in a team. Self-care Burnout prevention and management.
Self-care techniques for oncology social workers.
The importance of self-care for providing quality care to patients.

Dates
Wednesdays 16:00 to 17:30
4 July 2023 to 16 Aug 2023
20 Sept 2023 to 01 Nov 2023

Book your virtual training session

Costs R 1800 for the 7 session orientation training


(Payments can also be made in 3 instalments of R600 each if required)
Please complete form (opens in separate window) to register and pay here.
Training will only take place if there are at least 6 registrations for the program.