Cancer Support Team
The CHI Health Cancer Support Team is a group of healthcare providers who work together to help you and your family cope with cancer. Here are their roles:
Cancer Support Services Specialist
This person completes an assessment with a new patient and family. They offer:
- Education and support about treatment
- Communication between the support team, doctor, patient and family.
- Links for patients to community resources and programs
Social Services/ Care Management
The medical social worker helps patients and families deal with:
- emotional and social stresses
- financial counseling
- discharge planning
- home care, extended care, and nursing home placement
- hospice services
The care management nurse helps in:
- coordinating payment for hospital stays
- identifies discharge planning needs
You need to watch what you eat and drink during cancer treatment. You may have changes in taste and appetite. The dietitian can give counseling and education to keep your nutrition state where it is or help it get better.
The chaplain offers spiritual and emotional support and helps with other religious issues. Your personal minister is also encouraged to remain involved in your care if desired.
Inpatient Nursing Services
The nursing staff and clinical nurse specialist care for patients admitted to the hospital oncology unit. The nurse explains the treatment plan and cares for the patient and family.
The clinical nurse specialist teaches nursing staff about new chemotherapy drugs, medical equipment and treatment plans.
A nurse navigator assists you with coordination of diagnostic tests during the workup phase of care. The nurse navigator also follows you and your family throughout your course of treatment to provide education and support.
Outpatient Medical Oncology
The nurse in the medical oncology office gives chemotherapy drugs to the patients. The nurse answers questions about the cancer diagnosis or side effects of treatment. They also make referrals to Cancer Support Team members as needed.
The radiation oncology staff gives radiation treatments under the direction of the doctor who provides the radiation or radiation oncologist. A radiation oncology nurse provides patient assessment and education.
Mental Health Services
A nurse skilled in mental health services provides counseling and support services. This includes helping patients and family members express or adjust to common feelings such as: anger, sadness, anxiety, fear and grief.
A variety of therapists provide services for cancer patients:
A Physical Therapist can create an exercise program to improve the patient’s physical independence. The therapist can also assist with devices to help you walk, orthotics, prosthetics, and family training needs.
An Occupational Therapist helps the patient and family adjust to limits in endurance, self care skills or other daily activities. The therapist can suggest adaptive and durable medical equipment for the home.
Patients with lymphedema obtain assistance in managing this disease from certified lymphedema therapists. There is also a support group for lymphedema patients.
A Speech Therapist can help with speech, communication and swallowing problems.
A specially trained physical therapist can help manage cancer related fatigue.
T’ai Chi, Yoga, Meditation, movement and exercise classes are also offered.
- The Image Recovery Center at Alegent Creighton Health is staffed by clinically-trained cosmetologists who understand the side effects that come with cancer treatment
- have been trained to give services just for cancer patients
- help patients prepare for appearance changes they experience due to some of the treatments of the disease.
Home Care Services
Assistance is available from a skilled healthcare team when a cancer patient returns home after treatment or a hospital stay.
As part of home care services, the palliative care team provides pain and symptom management to cancer patients and families.
Hospice services provide a team approach to end of life care when a patient and family no longer desire active treatment. You can find this service is in a variety of healthcare settings.
Trained Cancer Support Team volunteers visit with patients, direct them to the right departments and offer a helping hand when needed.