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Professional Roles and Responsibilities

Research exploring the relational dimensions of patient navigation indicate that interpersonal communication is fundamental to the patient navigator’s (PN) ability to assist patients in identifying barriers to care and improve cancer care outcomes.
Tools that help to characterize patient acuity have been used in healthcare for decades and have proved successful as a means of determining staffing needs, improving patient care, and controlling costs.
The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators conducted a 4-day virtual, live-streamed conference that provided a forum for dialogue among participating navigators who provide navigation and survivorship care services for oncology patients.
Patients with lung cancer often face significant rates of mortality and morbidity.
Compassion fatigue is common among professionals working in a healing or helping capacity.
Dr Morganna Freeman recommends that navigators develop a good triage system to effectively manage adverse events.
Medical oncologist Richard J. LoCicero, MD, believes navigators fill in the patient care blanks offering their value as coordinators, shoulders of support, and negotiators.
Healthcare continues to change with a focus on prevention and outpatient care versus the long-standing way of reactive, inpatient acute care. There continues to be a role for inpatient care in oncology, but payer sources will reward the limitation of hospital visits in the future.
One of the dilemmas navigators experience—being able to plan their time well, as well as to explain to others in designated blocks of time how their time is allocated on a given day or throughout a given week. Some time measurement is easy—3 hours spent conducting a community outreach event, for example.
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?
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