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Oncology nurse navigation

Nurse navigators help you through every step of cancer diagnosis, treatment and healing.

Your oncology nurse navigators are registered nurses with experience in oncology, the medical and nursing specialty focused on cancer care.

The navigator works closely with you, your doctors and other care team members. Your navigator helps you learn about and understand your diagnosis and treatment options while also coordinating all the steps needed to make sure you receive the best possible care.

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A Nurse Navigator is a registered nurse whose sole purpose is to support a patient.

So what that means is they are designed to help educate a patient, advocate for them, and also navigate their care throughout the continuum.

Cancer is complex. There's a lot of things that cancer touches in a person's life.

And so ensuring that we can support all of the different areas of a patient and and their life is very very important.

They are a lot of times the first person that cancer patients speak to; they're there to provide that upfront support and answer questions.

And then they're a single point of contact.

They know that they can call me anytime throughout their treatment with any questions or any concerns.

And if I'm not the right person to answer it, I will get them to that person.

So I think initially just telling them that that helps ease a lot of fears and anxiety.

The fear and anxiety with any situation in life really comes from not knowing, not having the answers that you need.

And so oncology nurse navigators are wonderful at helping patients understand all aspects of what they're going through, and they are able to educate patients in a way that they can understand.

So when you're diagnosed with cancer, there's a lot of different people who can be involved in your care team.

But we are here to help make sure that you understand who they all are and that they all know who you are.

The Navigator; one of the most important things they do is help make sure that things are seamless and that things don't fall through the cracks.

They maintain an understanding of where the patient is at in the cancer experience.

So they're constantly behind the scenes, keeping up to date on the different treatments or things that are happening, and they are able to insert themselves or reengage or engage at certain time periods if needed.

I really just feel that Nurse Navigation is key, and the kind of the glue of the operation.

It feels good to be able to know that you are helping an individual meet their goals, whatever those goals are, and that you're able to support them through a really difficult journey.

It's really whole person care that supports the patient and all all that they love.

Even though every patient's diagnosis is a little bit different, just knowing that a navigator will be with you every step of the way is the most important thing.

What it is

Oncology nurse navigators are registered nurses with special knowledge about cancer, its treatment and how it affects people and families. 

A oncology nurse navigator:

  • supports and guides you through every step of cancer diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care
  • helps you understand your diagnosis, treatment options and care plan
  • responds to your questions and seeks information from other care team members when needed
  • coordinates the flow of information among all of your doctors and other care team members
  • helps you learn about and access services such as integrative therapies through the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, and rehabilitation services through the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute
  • helps you learn about and access additional resources like spiritual care, cosmetic surgery services, end of life care, family counseling, palliative care, psychology services, support groups and more

Source: Allina Health Cancer Care
Reviewed by: Allina Health Cancer Care

First published: 6/4/2019
Last reviewed: 6/4/2019