Nurse Navigator Program
This innovative program matches those that are newly diagnosed with breast cancer with one of MedWest's nurse navigators. These nurse navigators are registered nurses that know the healthcare system, understand treatment options and recommend resources to assist the patient in navigating the cancer care system. This program is provided as a free service to our breast patients and will soon expand to provide navigation for other cancer patients.
Patients are introduced to our navigators when a biopsy is recommended or immediately after a diagnosis. From this critical point forward, they educate and encourage the patient throughout care and treatment.
Some of the daily Duties of Nurse Navigators and Navigation service:
- Contacting patients who require additional imaging after mammograms
- Providing education and emotional support to patients and their families
- Meet with all patients who are recommended for biopsy - providing written and verbal information / answering questions about specific procedures and collecting information necessary for the biopsy procedure.
- Navigators assist patients in many ways including:
- Scheduling appointments
- Overcoming barriers to care including transportation and financial needs
- Contacting patients regularly to receive updates and offer assistance
- Reviewing any new patient procedures or education
- Being available by phone 24/7 for patients needs and concerns
For patients with a positive cancer diagnosis Navigators go the extra mile:
- Contact primary care providers to make sure pt has results ASAP
- Meet with patient and their family and support persons to review their specific diagnosis
- Provide emotional support to pt and family
- Provide referral and resource information for patients and their caregivers
- Schedule Appts for care and /or pt referrals
- Visiting patients by phone or in person before and after surgery
- Assess and address barriers to care (done on a continual basis also)
- Attend procedures or office visits if pt requests.
- Support and clarify what the providers plan is in lay language if needed.
- Call pts the day before procedures to see if they have any questions and confirm time to arrive
- Relay any concerns or new information to the patients care providers.
Navigators are also involved in the community with groups like :
- Cancer Support groups
- American Cancer Society : “Look Good Feel Better”
- Relay for Life: Haywood, Jackson and Swain Counties
- Camp Bluebird (retreat for cancer patients)
- Power of Pink (fundraiser to provide for mammograms and other imaging for uninsured persons)
- Flourish - Women’s Health Expo
- Survivorship summits – to celebrate survivors and educate the public