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Plus Pointers

There are core concepts critical to the work of a navigator. Empathy, integrity, honesty, and compassion are central to working with patients who may be confused, frightened, or overwhelmed.
Patient navigation is an evolving profession and many navigators do a significant amount of learning on the job. As such, it’s imperative that navigators are open to constructive criticism and feedback from members of the healthcare team, and even patients.
When patients receive a cancer diagnosis, they often want information on how to best manage their own health and wellness. Navigators can provide health promotion information and encourage patients to understand their cancer treatment and how to plan for a future of health.
One of the top barriers facing cancer patients is how they will cope financially with treatment and care. Patient navigators are often faced with patients who need help understanding their medical bills and finding ways to pay for their care.
Patient navigation is a dynamic profession, and cancer care is an ever-evolving field. It is imperative that navigators invest in ongoing learning activities to enhance their knowledge and skill set.
Patient navigators have a unique role in working to reduce health disparities and promote health equity in underserved communities.
Patient navigation is still a fairly new profession and, as such, navigators should tap into their expertise and experience to educate others about their role.
Patient navigators often serve as advocates with and on behalf of patients. A cancer diagnosis is a new experience for patients—one that thrusts them into a world of unknown terminology, overwhelming treatments and procedures, and complex systems.
Oncology care is a team effort. Physicians, nurses, social workers, patient navigators, and a host of other team members work together to ensure the best possible patient care.
To operate more efficiently, patient navigators should consider adopting the following habits to improve organizational skills.
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