Preparation for oncology settings: what hospice social workers say they need


Preparation for oncology settings: what hospice social workers say they need


Kovacs PJ; Bronstein LR



Health & Social Work




Humans; Attitude of Health Personnel; Cooperative Behavior; Health Services Research; Needs Assessment; Inservice Training; Florida; Professional Competence; patient care team; Neoplasms/nursing; Hospice Care/manpower/methods; Oncologic Nursing/education/manpower; Social Work/education


According to recent data, 78 percent of hospice social workers' direct practice hours are spent with patients and families diagnosed with terminal cancer. A national sample of 108 hospice social workers participated in an exploratory study investigating the influence of their formal academic training, informal on-the-job training, and related professional and personal experiences on their preparation for oncology social work. Findings suggest that social workers view both the generalist or core courses as well as the specialist and elective courses as important in preparing them for oncology social work. In addition, on-the-job training focusing on medical terminology, interdisciplinary, collaboration, death and dying and the integration of personal experiences are important for continuing growth and success in this work. Implications for social work practice, research, and formal and informal educational opportunities are discussed.


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Kovacs PJ; Bronstein LR, “Preparation for oncology settings: what hospice social workers say they need,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed December 10, 2023,