Being diagnosed with cancer can bring forth many emotions from not only the patient, but the patient’s loved ones. As there are many different treatments and options for cancer patients to choose from, it can be overwhelming to not only cope with the diagnosis itself, but also to research and understand all that goes into a care plan for a cancer patient. Many oncology clinics and offices are now offering a “Nurse Navigator” service to help the patient understand and make informed choices from the initial cancer diagnosis through treatment and the post-treatment recommendations for health.Nurse Navigators are case managers and a single point of contact that the cancer patient and family can use if there are any questions or concerns about treatment options. The Nurse Navigator can help explain the diagnosis, give information about side effects and the best way to treat them, help schedule and coordinate appointments, tests and procedures, collaborate with the entire Cancer Support Team and provide community resources, plus a Nurse Navigator can be there to listen to a patient while a doctor focuses on the best course of treatment for the patient.
Nurse Navigators are specialists in their field, and provide more than oncology nursing assistance, but also help bring together the information and resources needed by patients and families in order to facilitate the best treatment possible for the cancer patient. The specialized training for Nurse Navigators goes beyond nursing school and certifications, there is also a love of patient care that doesn't stop at the end of a shift, but continues throughout the patient's journey as they battle cancer.