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Role of the Navigator

February 23, 2021 | AONN+ Blog
Role of the Navigator
When considering adding a nurse or patient navigator to your cancer care team, ensure that your job description includes goals, responsibilities, and tasks specific to your institution.
When oncology nurse navigator Lindsey Smith expanded her education and sought out perspectives from people affected by cancer, she learned how she could better address the concerns of her own patients and help them feel supported, even after treatment ends.
The state of clinical trials has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In December’s Facebook Live event, experts highlighted the integral role of the navigator in providing assessment, education, and support for patients with cancer who are considering their clinical trial options.
Nancy Peña, OPN-CG, Founder and Director, Navegación de Pacientes International, describes the differences in navigation in Guatemala versus the United States. Navigators face challenges with time, money, and data collection. Rowan Robinson, BN, MSN, Navigator/Quality Lead, Netcare, Ltd, South Africa, says that South African navigators encountered suspicion from patients, which led to a marketing campaign to introduce navigation.
Navigators must educate providers and patients about the role of the navigator and how it differs from other practitioners, such as social workers, says Nancy Peña, OPN-CG, Founder and Director, Navegación de Pacientes International. Rowan Robinson, BN, MSN, Navigator/Quality Lead, Netcare, Ltd, South Africa, mentions the crucial need for education across the board since navigation is a new practice in South Africa.
Nancy Peña, OPN-CG, Founder and Director, Navegación de Pacientes International, and Rowan Robinson, BN, MSN, Navigator/Quality Lead, Netcare, Ltd, South Africa, share some of their most poignant experiences from their navigation practice in the United States and in other countries.
Nancy Peña, OPN-CG, Founder and Director, Navegación de Pacientes International, and Rowan Robinson, BN, MSN, Navigator/Quality Lead, Netcare, Ltd, South Africa, express their hopes for the future of navigation in their respective countries.
Sage Bolte emphasizes how important the oncology navigator is in normalizing open and honest discussions about sexuality with their patients, and suggests ways for navigators to start the conversation and show that they care about their patients' sexual health.
Steve Pittman sees overlap in the roles of the oncology navigator and the social worker in providing psychosocial support. He believes one of the most important jobs for either oncology team member is to simply listen to the patient.
Dr Michael Roth identifies how oncology nurse and patient navigators can significantly increase AYA clinical trial enrollment.
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