Patient navigation addresses barriers to care and enables patients to be screened for cancer and complete cancer-related care as recommended by their healthcare providers. Although the details of how patient navigation is implemented in various healthcare and community settings vary based on available services and resources, clientele served, community context, and access point in the cancer continuum, the role of the patient navigator includes navigation assessment, shared decision-making, and identification of barriers and resources.
Patient navigators interact routinely with patients, their families, and other healthcare professionals, and need to be skilled communicators to effectively exchange information and collaborate.
As a patient navigator, you interact with a lot of different people. You can build trust and be more impactful if you are professional; thus, professionalism is an important skill to develop as a navigator—but what does this mean?
As a patient navigator, you function as part of a multidisciplinary care team. In this professional role, it is essential to build trusting relationships with your patients and team members. Being responsive to your colleagues and working within your scope are effective ways to build confidence and value. Patient navigators can demonstrate responsiveness through effective organization, time management, problem-solving, critical thinking, and workload management.
Cancer survivorship is rapidly evolving, with new cancer survivorship care guidelines issued very recently. It is important to stay up-to-date on new information to ensure that practice keeps pace with new guidelines for care. This learning guide will provide some key updates for leaders of cancer survivorship care in the clinical setting.
Navigation is a dynamic and constantly changing field. The role was originally developed to help eliminate barriers to care and to promote timely diagnosis and treatment for cancer in underserved populations. Since its inception in the 1990s, the role has grown across the disease trajectory and has helped to identify and eliminate communication, logistical, emotional/social, financial, and treatment-related barriers.
Nurse navigation professional roles and responsibilities questions cover the history of navigation, critical thinking, problem solving, ethics, leadership, multidisciplinary team building, patient tracking, and navigation tasks. It is the work that you do as a nurse navigator on a daily basis. The questions will range from basic knowledge to application.
End of life requires good planning, and those with advanced cancers deserve for such planning to be part of their cancer care. The nurse navigator can and should serve as the patient advocate to help ensure that the patient’s voice is heard; that effective communication is taking place between the patient, family, and treatment team; that palliative care is initiated early; and that steps are taken and barriers removed to help facilitate a good death for the patient.
Nurse navigators are essential for the delivery of cancer care, to address barriers to patient care, coordinate care, and assist with transition of care across all aspects of the cancer care continuum, including screening, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up, survivorship, and end of life. The goal of nurse navigation programs is to provide optimal care to patients and their families throughout the cancer care trajectory.
Patient navigation addresses barriers and facilitates timely access to quality standard care by providing individualized assistance to patients, survivors and families. Dr. Harold Freeman first coined the term “patient navigation” in the 1990s in Harlem when he found that his black patients often presented with more advanced stages of disease and had poorer health outcomes and higher mortality than his white patients.
Although the role and scope of practice for a patient navigator does not require a clinical license or advanced medical or healthcare degree, patient navigators need to have certain medical knowledge to interact with the healthcare team, and ensure that patients are successfully navigated through a difficult time and complex system.
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