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Insights into Navigation

Oncology care has gotten so complicated and sophisticated in the last decade or so that we only talk about treatment and what is the next drug available for treatment and what line of therapy will the patient next be receiving.
Gone are the days that health insurance covers all of the expenses associated with cancer diagnosis and treatment. Though screening tests remain free without a deductible or co-payment, once someone has a suspicious finding, there will be out of pocket expenses to be incurred by the patient.
I hope that all nurse navigators have the opportunity to attend tumor boards as well as have a pivotal role in coordinating them! Whether it is an organ specific tumor board (like breast, colorectal, lung, prostate) or a tumor board where everyone brings all of their cancer specific cases for a multidisciplinary review, you have a key role in these forums.
We are really making tremendous progress in the development and implementation of our certification program and exam!!
For those of you working in an academic medical center or teaching institution, there are likely 3 overarching missions to be fulfilled: patient care, teaching, and research.
Marketing campaigns that use navigation as a lure: I’ve heard ads on the radio and even seen a few on TV that are using nurse navigators as their lure to bring new cancer patients to their cancer center.
This is a very important subject that needs to be discussed more often. Of all of the tasks of a navigator, patient advocacy must always be part of our process.
If you are working as a navigator and haven’t begun to capture data that accurately depicts what you do, how you do it, and why it is important, then you are placing yourself at risk for a lot of questions when it is time for your performance review (or for when next year’s fiscal budget is being determined).
The need for research regarding long term cancer survivorship: For decades pediatric oncology professionals have followed their patients long term.
Case managers vs nurse navigators:  more and more insurance companies are hiring nurses as case managers. some actually refer to them as nurse navigators however. There tasks and functions are not quite the same as a nurse navigator who is involved with the actual care delivery process of a cancer patient.
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