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The “Second Family” of Patients at Hy Vong Cancer Care Centre

It was once said: “The scary thing is not when you are alone, it is when you have no one to share.” For others it is loneliness, but for people with cancer, it is the feeling of losing purpose and belief in life. Understanding that, Hy Vong Cancer Care Centre established a team of Medical Social Workers (MSW) to provide consultation and support to patients for common problems you might experience on the journey of examination and treatment. They are considered as the “second family,” who will support and council the patient and families, doctors and medical staff.

FROM EMPATHY TO THE ONE WHO TAKES CARE OF MENTAL HEALTH OF PATIENTS

In many countries around the world, Medical Social Workers are a formally trained professionals who provide, an important bridge between cancer patients and issues regarding their treatment such as: medical questions, psychological concerns, social or financial relationships. The Medical Social worker is there to give relief to the patient so that they can feel at ease during treatment. Hy Vong Cancer Care Centre of FV Hospital is the first healthcare facility in Vietnam to deploy Medical Social Workers with the desire to share some of the emotional burden of the patient.

According to Ms. Hoang Thi Bao Anh – the first Medical Social Workers of Hy Vong Cancer Care Centre, the workers must understand thoroughly how the patient feel, support them in the battle against cancer, including providing patients with information and guidance as a Medical Assistant, and providing psychological support to patients and their family members as a full psychologist. She said: “Doing this job, the staff must know how to put themselves in the position of the patient to understand their psychological and behavioural needs, so that they can provide the prompt and precise support. The work requires empathy, not compassion, because it might make them more vulnerable, which can lead to pessimism and non-cooperation.”

Ms. Hoang Thi Bao Anh – the first Medical Social Workers of Hy Vong Cancer Care Centre

As a Medical Social worker, Ms. Bao Anh has the opportunity to have more access to patients at Hy Vong Cancer Care Centre. She spends a lot of time listening and talking with each patient, understanding their backgrounds to capture the psychology of patients and family members. At the same time, she accompanies patients in the process of registration, procedures, tests, consultation with doctors. When the   treatment plan and duration is selected she offers financial advice. For patients who live far away, the Medical Social team also give recommendations on suitable accommodation and hotels to accommodate them throughout the treatment period. Patients have their consultation schedule arranged for their utmost convenience to avoid wasting time on travelling. As a result, the time of examination and treatment of patients is significantly shortened, the treatment also achieves optimal results that conforms to the patients’ wishes. This is the good news that the Medical Social Worker encourages the patients.

One of the common patient concern is the financial burden. As planned, Hy Vong Cancer Care Centre establish programs in cooperation with the financial systems for the purpose of borrowing interest-free medical loans. This is the good news that the Medical Social Worker encourages the patients.

MEDICAL SOCIAL WORKERS – WORKING MODEL NEEDS EXPANSION

T.T.N.T (, HCMC) brought her daughter to Hy Vong Cancer Care Centre for examination of tumours in the small intestine, she felt extremely satisfied with the appearance of the Medical Social Worker. She said: “The first time I brought my daughter here, the counsellor was very enthusiastic and dedicated. If they were in every hospital, it would be much more convenient for the patient. Many people who go to the hospital by themselves are both sad and unhappy, they also don’t know who to ask. So if any hospital, department has Medical Social Worker, how good it would be.”

With the presence of Medical Social Worker team, patients are enthusiastically and dedicatedly guided about the examination procedures

Obviously with the presence of Medical Social Worker team, patients are guided through the examination procedures. All questions about the hospital’s policies and procedures and social insurance entitlement procedures are answered. Most importantly, patients are able to better understand their treatment regimens and schedules. As a result, they become more confident when they need to ask more information about their condition and treatment options during their meeting with the Doctor.

In order to support their patients, the team of Medical Social Workers must be fully trained with the knowledge and skills. They must be capable to collect information, make plans and give advice to the patients about advanced medical information, motivate and inspire whilst maintaining positive relationships among patients, doctors and other medical staff. They are act as psychologists who understand patients and know patients’ difficulties then provide solutions at the right time. They need to have ethics in their professions and dedicated to the patients who know how to arrange reasonable times for patients to minimize expenses and additional costs.

In spite of various obstacles when establishing Social Medical Workers team at Hy Vong Cancer Care Centre, their contribution to the patients are of a great motivation for Ms. Bao Anh as well as other team members to commit to their positions.

Hy Vong Cancer Care Centre of FV Hospital provides the most currently advanced diagnosis and treatment services.

Hy Vong Cancer Care Centre brings together experienced French and Vietnamese doctors and experts, who their time listening, consulting and answering patient questions about the disease.

Hy Vong Cancer Care Centre has state-of-the-art facilities, equipment, and treatment technologies, including CT stimulation that accurately identifies and simulates the location and size of the tumour that is then treated with the most modern radiotherapy machine – Elekta Infinity that provides accurate treatment on the tumour with optimal dosage and fast speed that is harmless for the surrounding healthy tissue.

At Hy Vong Cancer Care Centre, each case is treated with multidisciplinary meeting to offer a truly personalised treatment regimen suitable to each patient’s condition, thereby helping patients achieve highest treatment efficiency with the least side effects. In addition, patients are also provided consultation on nutrition, psychology and pain management to help them stabilise their physical situation and stay optimistic throughout the treatment process.

Comprehensive professional cooperation with India’s largest HCG specialised cancer treatment system, including more than 20 cancer treatment centres in India and Africa, helps elevate FV’s Hy Vong Cancer Care Centre to a new level, becoming the leading Modern Cancer Care Centre in Vietnam and the region.

To make an appointment for cancer consultation and treatment at Hy Vong Cancer Care Centre – FV Hospital, please contact:

Hotline: (028) 5411 3440 or (028) 5411 3333

Working hours: 8:00 – 17:00 (Monday – Friday) and 8:00 – 12:00 (Saturday)

Address: 6 Nguyen Luong Bang, Phu My Hung, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City