Providing Navigation Guidance & Psychosocial Support to Cancer Patients and Their Families

Tata Hospital is one of the best-known cancer hospitals in India. 80% of patients travel from different parts of the country for treatment with the hope of being cured. Many of them are farmers and daily wage earners with minimum levels of education. Many feel extremely lost when they try to navigate around the hospital.

Being diagnosed and referred to Tata Hospital can be an overwhelming experience for patients and their families. Being introduced to a new and unfamiliar place can be very stressful, and there are many patients and families that have shared stories of endless days in the hospital, moving from one place to another without accomplishing anything. There have been several instances where families have returned back home without obtaining any treatment because they did not understand what to do and where to go.

These patients need guidance. Many cancers are curable, and there is financial medical assistance available through various Trusts. The most important factor is ensuring that these patients and caregivers are aware of the abundance of resources available, so they may focus on healing.

Since November 2013, we are working with the Adult Hemato Lymphoid Department at Tata Hospital to provide patients and their families with necessary guidance and information.

Our social worker is entrusted with key responsibilities including the following:

•   Counseling and guiding all new patients that are registered in the department regarding accommodations and financial arrangements

•   Following up with patients to ensure that they are motivated and sticking to their treatment plans

•   Maintaining a Database of information to track patients and their treatment

•   Providing chemo counseling to patients in the Breast Cancer Department 

By providing this well needed service, we hope to eradicate unnecessary confusion regarding the navigation of treatment options and the logistical navigation of hospital resources. We hope to reduce unnecessary wait times and confusion, and to help more patients get the treatment they need in a faster and more efficient manner.