The Supportive Care Services team at Sentara Brock Cancer Center focuses on improving quality of life for patients experiencing a serious illness. Lindsey Hunt, M.D., Katie Caton, NP, and Rebecca Lynch, LCSW, highlight our team’s collaborative approach to address symptom management, and physical and mental health needs for oncology patients and caregivers.
My name is Lindsay Hunt. I am currently a palliative care physician working here at the Vcenter Abroad Cancer Center, as well as doing inpatient its entire Princess Anne. So my role at the cancer center, specifically in the Supportive Care Services clinic, is to see patients and help with symptom management. My goal is to help patients to live well in the context of a serious illness. My most critical role is to meet the patient where they are often times. These are patients who are seeing a lot of new faces in the context of a new illness. So we allow them to be in our clinic, take a deep breath and to really talk through what they're feeling. And we use that as a care plan to help alleviate suffering and improve the day to day for patients who are living with a serious illness and often have burdensome symptoms. So our goal is to help them to again live well and to, um, manage their their symptoms as they are traversing the series illness. Palliative care is a specialty that is near and dear to my heart because we see the patients who are sometimes the most vulnerable. And when we can alleviate symptoms such as having a patient to have less pain or less anxiety or help them to sleep better at night, you know that you are managing a symptom that really improves the day to day function of these patients. And so we oftentimes are hearing stories and and really getting to know the patient. And that's just a wonderful part of this medical specialty. I'm Katie Kayne, nurse practitioner here at Santa Brought Cancer Center and then Supportive Care Services Clinic. We're here serving oncology patients, meeting palliative care needs. So my role on a supportive care services team is I function as a nurse practitioner. So, um, we're helping oncology patients with their chronic illnesses so aggressively treating symptoms that are either related to their cancer treatments. Are the cancer itself aggressively retreated knows to try and maintain, if not improved quality of life assistance with pain, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath and whatever they may be experiencing. So part of this role is in as a nurse practitioner clinician here, and the practices to really investigate the patient's needs and what they are going through physically and emotionally, too. The emotional side is where we incorporate our licensed clinical social worker to assist but really focusing on their physical needs. If if it's a known relation to side effects of chemotherapy, how you can treat it or if it kind of signals a red flag, if there may be progressing disease with their cancer, having clear communication with their oncologist and, um just making sure everyone's on the same page in palliative care, we also like to say Not only do we care for the patient to bed at the patient's bedside to so meaning incorporating family members caregivers who are also on this journey with these patients to help with life threatening disease decision making, advanced care planning so that the goal is that their medical care is aligning on with what their wishes are and what they value. And that's where we also incorporate the services of our licensed clinical social worker to help with those type of discussions, too. So some are goals here at supportive care services are first and foremost to improve quality of life for patients, increasing patient satisfaction. So while we're aggressively treating their symptoms, our goal is to help lessen emergency department visits that they may need, which, in general lesson hospitalizations were also looking to help with their goals of care and ensuring that their medical care lines with their values. My name is Rebecca Lynch. I'm the licensed clinical social worker for the Supportive Care Services Clinic at Center Abroad Cancer Center. The licensed clinical social worker role is one of support for patients and their families who are experiencing chronic life affecting illness. My role is diverse and that I can provide therapy. Um, talk therapy also resource assistance, um, and just encouragement in a safe place for patients and families to discuss their feelings and emotions and thoughts about what's going on in their lives other than coping. There's also anticipatory grief, complicated grief. There are mental health needs associated with a chronic illness, including depression and anxiety symptoms, so that basically stressors that come from a chronic life affecting illness. The Supportive Care services clinic is a team, and we worked together very closely to provide comprehensive services to patients and their families. Our goal is to meet the patient where they are at in terms of acceptance in terms of coping and and we do provide support to ensure quality of life as determined by the patient