HSROC: Patient Guide: Support Services

Facing a diagnosis of cancer and undergoing treatment presents many challenges. Many resources are available to our patientís, including:

Nursing

The nursing staff at the UAB Department of Radiation Oncology seeks to provide patients, their families, and friends with the support needed in addressing psychological, financial, and social barriers to their treatment. In addition to helping patients identify and access the various community resources available, we can also assist with obtaining local lodging for out of town patients, care and equipment in the home, financial issues, and social security disability forms. Further, the support staff can provide assistance in navigating complex healthcare systems, state and federal resources, and prescription assistance programs. Each patient will also receive individualized education and teaching from a trained oncology nurse. Educational materials will be provided and your questions answered to best of the nurseís ability.

Social Services

Your Oncology Social Worker is a licensed and certified health care professional who helps patients and families face the emotional and practical aspects of cancer. Services include referrals for local lodging for out of town patients, care and equipment in the home, financial issues, and social security disability. Your oncology social worker can provide assistance in accessing complex healthcare systems, state and federal resources, and prescription assistance programs.

Patient Education Library

For persons who wish to seek and search information on their own, a patient Education Center and Reference Library is located in the first floor waiting area. This area has computers with internet access, literature and educational materials on specific types of cancer, side effects from treatment, pain control, nutrition, hospice, support groups and other topics that may help you better understand and cope with your disease.

Advance Directives

An Advance Directive is a way to protect your right to choose or refuse medical treatment. The nursing staff will provide information about Advance Directives during your education session and can assist you with scheduling an appointment with Medical Social Services to discuss concerns and answer questions regarding the process of drafting an Advance Directive.

Ambassador Program

Ambassadors are people in the community that have undergone special training and have a desire to help you through treatment. The Ambassadors are ready to provide a warm blanket, a smiling face, and a hand to hold.

Patient Navigator Program

The Patient Navigator is located in the Hazelrig-Salter Center Patient Resource Library and is available to listen and provide cancer patients and their caregivers with informational resources, support programs, and services.

Hand-in-Paw

For over a decade, Hand-in-Paw has provided patients with the soothing accompaniment of highly-trained therapy dogs during the most stressful times in their lives. The dogs and their masters are daily visitors to our facility, and they are always a hit with children and adult patients alike. For more information about the non-profit Hand-in-Paw organization and their services, please visit their website at http://www.handinpaw.org/

Support Groups

Members of your treatment team are aware this is a very difficult time. Together with support groups they can help you feel less alone and improve your ability to deal with the uncertainties and challenges that you will have to face.

Other Resources

In conjunction with your physician, the nursing staff can assist in referrals to ancillary services such as:

  • Nutrition
  • Palliative and Supportive Care
  • Home Health
  • Hospice
  • Physical Therapy