Hard conversations are a part of working in oncology. There are many situations that can occur during a patient’s treatment journey where you will have to deliver bad news. In some cases, the cancer has returned in the form of advanced metastatic disease, in others, the amount of options for treatment become fewer.
It’s becoming a common practice to bring oncology nurse navigators into these difficult conversations to address questions and concerns after the doctor has left the room. In this 3-part series, I will be addressing ways oncology navigators should be approaching these conversations.
There is great value in creating and maintaining an honest relationship between the patient and their treatment team. From the beginning, oncology nurse navigators and patient navigators should assess their patient’s treatment goals and gauge their level of understanding of current and future clinical outcomes.
To understand your patient better, ask them the following questions: