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Insights into Navigation

After a cancer patient dies, we commonly are no longer in touch with the family beyond that of offering our condolences. Several months later, however, is when the true financial picture of what the loved one’s end-of-life expenses really were.

In the latter part of each year, employees are asked to make decisions about the health insurance benefits they wish to select for the coming calendar year. Rarely does someone say, “Gee, I am planning to get cancer this year so I want to be sure to choose carefully which health plan benefit I want.”
We’ve all been there. The number of patients you are expected to navigate keeps increasing without more resources being provided to help you do it well. Simply telling your supervisor that you can’t keep up won’t cut it; nor will saying you need more help. Instead, measure what you are doing by developing an acuity scale for the patient populations you navigate.
All too often cancer centers decide to hire either oncology nurse navigators or hire patient navigators. What would be best for the center and patients is a blending of both professionals. This model of having a nurse and a lay patient navigator can work very well--as long as each of these navigators function within their scope of training, skills, credentialing, and practice requirements.
As you may know, we launched last year the officially certification exam for general oncology nurse navigators. And through AONN+'s  partnership with the George Washington Cancer Center, the patient navigation exam was also launched at the same time. We are about to conduct the beta test for a thoracic navigation certification.
Whether your manager meets with you monthly, semi-annually, or annually to discuss your performance evaluation, you need to take it upon yourself to decide what your performance and professional goals should be beforehand.
Many cancer patients practice complementary or alternative medicine, and don’t even know it. They take extra vitamins, get acupuncture, use various herbs, etc. Though such things may seem harmless, they actually may impact the treatments they are receiving that are prescribed by their doctors.
More women for the last 2 decades have chosen to get their careers established first, then plan for a family second--resulting in them having children in their 40s. Though it can be tricky due to their ovaries already slowing down compared to how they functioned in their 20s and 30s, it remains a common theme among career women today.
If your newly diagnosed patient meets the criteria for warranting a genetics consultation and testing, do the necessary paperwork to have it happen BEFORE surgery!
Family caregivers are expected to do whatever is necessary to help their loved one who is now stricken with a disease that requires so much attention. And often without necessarily having a road map how to navigate their roles and responsibilities. These are individuals who suddenly got drafted into needing to take on the tasks and responsibilities of two people.
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Attention AONN+ Members:
As we have changed our website platform, you must reset your password to access the members-only content on the new website.

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