Oncology Nurse Navigators: Helping Patients Cope
Being diagnosed with cancer can be a very scary time. When you hear you have cancer, you may not hear anything else during your appointment. That’s why I—and the seven other CHI Health Oncology Nurse Navigators–are available to all oncology patients. Not only does the patient have health concerns but there are financial, social, mental and spiritual stresses as well.
The Oncology Nurse Navigator is there to help in a number of ways. We’re oncology-certified and assist the patient and family through the entire cancer process—from diagnosis through treatment. We’re the main point of contact. Among our roles: helping the patient better understand the diagnosis and treatment options, answering general oncology questions, discussing warning signs and symptoms, connecting the patient with additional resources and other members of the Cancer Support Team, coordinating care and attending oncology-related appointments if the patient desires, and bridging questions and concerns with the medical team.
Patients choose how much and what kind of assistance they want. Some may prefer the Navigator to attend their oncology visits with them while others may use us for questions they forgot to ask during appointments and to learn more about what they can expect with their treatments. The Navigator is a free service provided by Alegent Creighton Health and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Patient satisfaction surveys indicate a very positive response to our role. We try and ease the worried patient’s mind and take some of the stress and busywork out of the process. We’re someone who is always there during a tough time.
You can reach a Nurse Navigator at (402) 717-CARE (2273)