Patient Navigators: Giving Cancer Patients a Guiding Hand
Brain or spine cancer diagnosis and treatment can be overwhelming for patients and their families. At Holy Cross Hospital, specially trained nurses serve as patient navigators to help patients deal successfully with their illness and the process of recovery. They are critical members of the patient care team who help educate and empower patients as they move through the complexities of oncology care.
A Guiding Hand for Patients: The patient navigator guides or "navigates" people through the sometimes confusing process of oncology care, everything from diagnostic testing, physician appointments, outpatient care and financial payment to rehabilitation and community support resources.
They are the gatekeepers of patients' plan of care and help ensure that patients understand their disease, their treatment options and each step in the therapy process. They monitor the delivery of services to be certain they are appropriate and provided in a timely manner - and they work to ensure patients are satisfied with their care from the time they are admitted to the hospital through discharge - and after they return home.
Communication Link: Patient navigators - also called nurse navigators - are the critical link between patients and members of the brain care and spine care teams. They encourage open communication that helps foster the best possible outcome. They also interact with many hospital services and community resources, acting as every patient's advocate and mentor.