At the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma we understand that a diagnosis of Cancer is a life changing event.
Therefore, we believe that at a time when you are fighting for your life you should not have to spend your time navigating and managing the complex healthcare system on your own. For just that reason we have Nurse/Patient Navigators on staff to assist patients through their cancer care journey.
A nurse/patient navigator essentially is a problem solver and also a highly resourceful individual.
The navigator is trained to anticipate, address, and overcome barriers to care and to guide patients through the health care system during a very difficult time.
Nurse/patient navigators can also help improve the quality of care patients receive, and nurse/patient navigation programs may help extend or even save patients’ lives. With the help of a nurse navigator, we are able to:
The result is that patients with suspicious findings have a greater chance of receiving a quick and timely diagnosis and any necessary treatments. In addition, services may be better coordinated and more consistent, resulting in improved outcomes.
Goals of Nurse/Patient Navigation
The goals of nurse/patient navigation are:
Too often the positive gains made in finding cancer early are lost because of a lack of clinical follow-up by the patient. Nurse/patient navigators, while collaborating with other members of the cancer care team (eg, physicians, nurses, social workers), guide patients through the health care system and help to prevent and eliminate barriers to quality care and treatment.
Why Is Nurse/Patient Navigation Important?
Many patients have trouble getting adequate cancer care because of barriers such as:
These barriers may cause patients to miss follow-up appointments or delay cancer care until they are very sick. It is also vital that patients receive continuous care from screening through diagnosis and treatment to ensure the best quality outcomes.
The Importance of Navigation
Nurse/patient navigators are trained in these necessary skills and have the appropriate qualities—enthusiasm, an openness to learning, connectedness to the community and its culture, and a lot of energy—to act as compassionate, effective guides in bridging the gaps to help patients, their caregivers, and their families.