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Last week was Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week. Although cancer is a disease of the aging, 70,000 young adults are diagnosed with cancer each year.
Although their role is distinct, patient navigators do not work in silos but in collaboration with other health professionals.
Professional development should be a major focus for patient navigators. Setting learning and improvement goals and participating in skill development and networking activities can address one’s gaps in knowledge, skills, attitudes and abilities.
A special one-day track for nonclinically licensed oncology patient navigators is being offered at the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) Sixth Annual Navigation and Survivorship Conference in Atlanta on October 1-4, 2015.
Patient navigators support the smooth transition of patients across the cancer care continuum. By educating, assessing and working with patients, navigators can identify potential barriers at each stage of cancer care, including screening, diagnosis, active treatment, survivorship and/or end-of-life care.
Patient navigators may be asked to contribute to the program evaluation process. Evaluation data are necessary to inform program development and implementation.
While patient navigators often serve as patient advocates on the health care team, encouraging patients to advocate for themselves is of equal importance.
Are you just starting your patient navigation program? Or do you feel like you are a one-person show?
As a patient navigator, you are a critical member of the cancer care team by helping patients access treatment and supportive services.
AONN recently became AONN+ to expand the reach of its professional network to include all patient navigators. If you are a non-clinically licensed navigator, the plus is for you!
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