I believe the social worker addressed the topic of the patient’s fertility after treatment very gracefully and informatively. She seemed confident and knowledgeable about fertility options in the AYA patient population and the potential of infertility that treatment may have had in this patient’s case. I also appreciated how the social worker made it known to the patient that often times fertility preservation is not mentioned upfront prior to initiating cancer treatment. This made the topic very relatable to the patient and possible less isolating.
In addition, I would ask very early on if the patient desires to have a family in the future and if the patient’s clinical team mentioned if there was a specific anticipated impact on the patient’s fertility due to the treatment.
I agree she handled it the situation well, considering the fact the patient didn’t receive the information upfront prior to his treatment. She gave him different options and also told him she would give him information to other resources that can help him make a decision about starting a family. The only thing different I would have done as the social worker would have asked if he would like to have his girlfriend present since she is whom he mentioned of possibly starting a family with someday.
I believe the social worker handled the situation appropriately. She validated his feelings and concerns about not being educated prior to treatment. She provided the information about fertility options in an approachable professional manner.