Advanced Bio-Psycho-Social Oncology Course

The South African Oncology Social Workers Forum is working on providing an Advanced Course in Oncology Social Work. This course is intended to be offered in 2024 on a monthly basis for social workers wanting to extend and deepen their knowledge and skills in the oncology social work sphere.

Modules in development include:
  • A broad overview of the functioning of the main organs of the body and the different stages of cancer as well as symptoms and challenges for patients and different treatment options with their side effects.
  • To explore the bio psychosocial effects of cancer throughout the whole patient trajectory and the role of the oncology & palliative social worker as part of the Multi Disciplinary Team.
  • Provide training in specific counselling skills to use with individual patients, couples and families and caregivers living with and affected by cancer. This will address some of the difficult questions and aspects of the patients illness trajectory.
  • Provide an overview of cancer support services in SA and teach the necessary skills to link these services to cancer patients and their families.
  • Provide information and skills training in how to provide psycho-social support and end of life care during serious illness and the death of a patient as well as the provision of bereavement counselling to family members and primary care givers.
  • To familiarize participants with complementary therapies which fall in the biopsychosocial range of therapeutic modalities.

Cultural diversity and customs as well as spiritual and ethical dimensions and concerns are mainstreamed throughout the course.

Modules will be facilitated and approached both from a public and a private sector perspective.