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As part of our responsibility as navigators, we are expected to not just know the standards of care but also remain up to date on cutting-edge research that has recently been published. We are also confronted with patients or their loved ones who have spent hours on the Internet visiting many websites—some credible academic websites and others bogus websites that may look credible but aren’t—and they assume that any new research found on the Internet related to the type of cancer they have or even in a magazine for that matter is valid and is suddenly the new standard of care.
We all do a lot of community outreach in our own geographic area. Commonly, the focus is on cancers that are preventable or can be effectively treated through early detection. Breast, colorectal, melanoma, and lungs cancers are good examples. With the new human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine available to prevent cervical cancer among young women, we have an opportunity to push the envelope a bit and consider jump-starting education about overall cancer affecting young people.
I am often asked what navigation training certification is best for facilities to have their nurses attend so they can be certified as nurse navigators. My reply leads in with an explanation that there are no set required competencies or standards for nurse navigator training, and there is no certification to declare a “certified nurse navigator.”
Commonly, when someone hears the words “you have cancer,” their mind can focus on nothing else. The world promptly begins to spin out of control. They are no longer thinking about what was on their to-do list today, or this week, or this month for that matter.
Literacy experts agree that children need to read during the summer to maintain reading skills, improve reading confidence, and learn new words and concepts. Healthcare professionals that embrace lifelong learning use a 12-month reading program not just in the summer to apply the same principles to their education.
July 25, 2013 | Articles & White Papers
Cancer survivors and their loved ones have myriad methods to access information about cancer and its current treatment. Some are credible websites or books published by reputable sources. Some are websites that provide correct and up-to-date information about the disease and its treatment. Other sources, however, are also “out there,” and can end up being utilized to the potential detriment of the patient.
It would be very unusual for a cancer patient to go through diagnosis and treatment without a loved one by their side. This loved one is usually a family member who is serving in the role of caregiver and likely has never been involved in supporting and taking care of someone with cancer before. They accompany the patient to consultations, surgery, chemo, and other treatment sessions. They are instructed by oncology providers what to do for their loved one after each of these visits and between doctors’ visits. What they aren’t provided very often is support for themselves.
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.
Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) is an unwanted side-effect of many chemotherapy drug treatments today. Complementary or alternative therapies, such as ginger, used in conjunction with other anti-emetic drugs have been shown to be promising in the battle to reduce nausea associated with chemotherapy treatment.
There are various points along the journey that we, as nurse navigators, need to be at the side of our patients when critical treatment decisions are being made. This is something that you do every day, and are more than familiar with regarding your role in education and support as it relates to this type of decision making.
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