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Role of the Navigator

How many metaphors can be used to describe a navigator’s job? It was interesting and visionary to hear all the descriptions given at the 2011 Navigation and Survivorship Conference.
After a recent navigation presentation, a participant approached me and commented, “Thank you, now I understand what our navigator does in her role.” The comment caused me to reflect...could that be the case where many of us work? Do people in our healthcare system know what we do?
If not, then anticipate political problems with your oncology team members, overlap of responsibilities with others, and job dissatisfaction at some point in time. Why? Because without clear roles and responsibilities, others will not understand why you are on the team at all.
When working with systems that are contemplating a navigation program or when navigators visit our site because they have been hired to navigate but can not seem to find their niche, this is a question everyone asks at the beginning. It is stressed throughout the navigation world that there is not a standardized navigation program that can fit everywhere.
It’s hard to turn on the radio or pick up an ad about a cancer center without reading something about patient navigation. There has been an explosion of oncology nurse navigator positions in the past year or so, and that number is growing even more. Perhaps you are a new nurse navigator and are part of these statistics.
November 11, 2010 | AONN+ Blog
Role of the Navigator
When we think about improving clinical outcomes and increasing survival of cancer, usually we are referring to the oncologists’ roles in selecting the right treatment plan, perhaps enrolling patients in clinical trials that may give them an edge over standard treatment today, or even thinking about such things as improved technology that enables healthcare providers to make the diagnosis sooner.
In the spring of 2010, the Academy of Oncology Nurse Navigators (AONN) was invited to participate in the National Patient Navigator Leadership Summit held in Atlanta, Georgia.
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