Myeloma Center Social Worker Receives Prestigious Certification

By Nathan Tidwell

“When I learned that I had obtained the OSW-C certification I was very excited,” Hastings said. “My supervisor, Harold Dean, shared information about the certification three years ago. Mr. Dean has served as a mentor in helping me work towards obtaining my certification.”

Hastings is one of only three social workers in the state of Arkansas with this certification. One of the others is Dean, MSW, LCSW — the Myeloma Center’s Social Work Program manager.

The OSW-C credential is awarded by the Board of Oncology Social Work Certification (BOSWC) to oncology social workers who meet the criteria for educational preparation, licensure, demonstrated practice and continuing education.

Hastings, a native of Jacksonville, North Carolina, spent 12 years as a social worker at the Arkansas State Hospital before coming to UAMS in 2019.

“To obtain an OSW-C certification you must have three years of oncology practice, meet the board’s education requirements and have demonstrated practice activities,” said Hastings.

“Jael is a valued member of the UAMS Myeloma Center Social Work Program. She has worked with our myeloma patients in both the hospital and our outpatient clinic,” Dean said. “Jael is kind, compassionate and conveys a genuine desire to help others. Not only is she attentive to the patient’s practical needs, but she is also sensitive to their emotional concerns.”

Dean, who is also a BOSWC board member, said there are 748 social workers with the OSW-C credential in the United States.

Applicants for OSW-C certification must be currently employed in a social work position engaged in the professional delivery of paid, post-master’s services to patients, families and caregivers facing the impact of a potential or actual diagnosis of cancer and health care professionals on the care team.

Among the initial OSW-C requirements are a master’s degree in social work, a minimum of 4,000 social work hours, an active master’s level social work license, oncology specific continuing education, and evidence of demonstrated practice in specific competency areas outlined by the BOSWC.

“Jael is consistently praised by her health care colleagues for her professionalism, work ethic and dedication to her patients,” Dean said. “She is an excellent oncology social worker. We are very lucky to have Jael as a member of our Myeloma Center Social Work team.”

For her part, Hastings expressed gratitude for the certification and relishes working at UAMS.

“I feel honored to be included in a national organization that is committed to enhancing psychosocial care to people with cancer and their families,” Hastings said. “I enjoy working with our patients. We work with patients navigating the health system, and social workers are a meaningful part of the patient’s treatment team and support.