Psychosocial support

Psychosocial support is provided to promote mental and social survival during the different stages of cancer. At the Department of Oncology, you will find a psychosocial unit, information services for cancer patients, and two social workers.
 
Psychosocial Unit
 
A psychiatrist and a psychiatric nurse work at the psychosocial unit. Their task is to support patients treated at the department who demonstrate symptoms of mental ill health. Common symptoms include anxiety, fear and crisis reactions triggered by the disease and the psychological burden caused by cancer. The unit accepts patients on an oncologist’s referral only. If you feel you might benefit from this type of support, talk about it with your nurse or physician.
 
Counseling nurse from the Cancer Society of Southern Finland
 
Information services for cancer patients provide personal information, support and advice. Your questions will be answered by a counselling nurse from the Cancer Society of Southern Finland. The nurse is read up on oncology. This service is provided free of charge for cancer patients.
 
The counselling nurse is there to discuss all aspects of cancer and living with cancer. Your discussions are confidential and the counselling nurse is bound by confidentiality. It is also possible to talk with the counselling nurse anonymously.
 
The counselling nurse’s office is is on the 3rd floor of the Department of Oncology and she is available on Mon–Fri every week from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

You can make an appointment by calling the nurse in advance during her appointment times, tel. 09 471 73291 or 050 408 8420. Any changes to these times are relayed by the answering machine.
 
Social Work
 
The two social workers from the Department of Oncology help patients treated on the wards and outpatient clinics, and their families and close friends. You can contact a social worker either directly or through the ward. Sometimes the department’s care personnel might advice patients to seek assistance from the social workers. It is recommended that you schedule an appointment in advance. The social workers’ offices are located on the first floor.
 
A disease usually changes your everyday life, including how you manage at home, your ability to work, your financial situation, caring for children or other relatives, and your personal relationships. Patients and/or members of the patient’s family can discuss their situation with a social worker, who will be able to offer advice and guidance on the problems and questions arising from the new situation. In hospitals, the focus of social work shifts according to the ward in question, e.g. towards rehabilitation or family work when children or families with children are involved. Social workers are part of the hospital’s multi-professional personnel.
 
The tasks of social workers include:
 
  • providing information on social security and services, and offering assistance in filling out the relevant forms when necessary
  • participating in planning how the patient will manage at home and arranging further care together with the patient, their close family and the other personnel
  • assisting in determining the ability to work and rehabilitation options, and participating in preparing rehabilitation plans with other professionals
  • collaborating with the authorities and dealing with other collaborative issues
  • being supportive and available for discussions with patients and their relatives and close friends
  • providing information about the activities organised by patient associations
  • providing information about patients’ rights