Nurse Navigators: Partners in Your Oncology Journey
When you’re diagnosed with a complex illness like cancer, you shouldn’t have to worry about navigating a complex system of care. Who do I talk to next? What questions do I need to ask? How can I afford this treatment plan? These questions will all be handled by your constant companion throughout your treatment plan: your nurse navigator.
Put simply, a nurse navigator is a nurse who serves as the constant in your treatment journey. But the role they play in a patient’s journey is anything but simple. Here are three ways nurse navigators help support exceptional care for cancer patients:
Nurse Navigators as Liaisons
Nurse navigators act as a central point for information on a patient’s care. They make sure all the players on the care team are on the same page of the playbook and follow through with the appropriate course of action. The nurse navigator also keeps the team aware of any changes in your treatment plan.
Nurse navigators also act as liaisons for the patient’s family. They make sure you and your family understand the diagnosis and its implications. They will also ensure your family is aware of all of the options and resources available to you on your healthcare journey.
“I think it’s imperative that when patients are ill, that they have someone to turn to. We go the extra mile for patients, putting patients first as well as their families to provide exceptional care.”
Nurse Navigators as Coordinators
When you aren’t sure where to go next or have a question about your treatment, your nurse navigator helps you figure out the logistics of your care. They are your guide through the medical system and keep you from feeling overwhelmed or lost along the way.
Think of your nurse navigator as the air traffic controller that keeps everything running smoothly. They can schedule tests or meetings with your various caregivers, and coordinate your various medications. You may ask them to arrange transportation to and from appointments if needed, and to walk you through the financials of your treatment. They also serve as a long-term source of survivorship support during your journey to wellness.
“She helps me coordinate appointments and schedules. She keeps the whole family actively involved in the plan of care. Honestly, I don’t know how I could do this without someone like Raquel at my side.”
Nurse Navigators as Emotional Support
When you simply need a shoulder to lean on, your nurse navigator has your back. Their goal is to support and nurture you in any way they can — including emotionally. During the course of your treatment, your nurse navigator will grow to know you and your life. They’ll be with you every step of the way — through the good days and bad, through every setback and triumph.
As the emotional bedrock of your healthcare journey, they will also serve as a teacher. They will educate you to the best of their ability on your disease state and treatment plan. Their goal is to empower you so that you can advocate for your health — just like they do every day.
With a nurse navigator at your side, you will have the time and energy to focus on your recovery. Meet these essential members of our care teams!