Cancer treatment can be complicated, with several appointments each week, multiple doctors to see and even more medicines to take. The job of an oncology nurse navigator is to help make the entire process easier for you so you can receive the care you need. They are experts in healthcare and your partner throughout your cancer journey.
What training does an oncology nurse navigator have?
Oncology nurse navigators are registered nurses. This means they have had at least four years of nursing education and have years of experience working in healthcare and taking care of patients with cancer. Some oncology nurse navigators also have specialty certification from the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation. Their years of education and experience help them speak to you about your specific cancer and your treatment.
What does an oncology nurse navigator do?
An oncology nurse navigator guides—or navigates—you through the cancer treatment process. Sometimes that means explaining what side effects you might have and sometimes that means helping you find transportation to your appointment.
“Oncology nurse navigators have many jobs,” says Renee Litton, MS, BSN, RN, oncology nurse navigator at Roper St. Francis Healthcare. “But we are always focused on helping patients and their caregivers.”
Your navigator will:
- ● Answer your questions about your condition and your treatment
- ● Provide emotional support throughout your journey
- ● Remove barriers to your care related to your multiple cancer treatment appointments
- ● Assist you with options for transportation or childcare
- ● Connect you to all members of your care team, from doctors to social workers, and advocate for your needs
- ● Give you information on community resources and resources within the Donna Fielding Cancer Wellness Institute, including social work, nutrition, exercise specialists and more
If you have any questions or concerns about your cancer care, your oncology nurse navigator is ready to help you find the answers.
When can I call an oncology nurse navigator?
Your doctor might refer you to an oncology nurse navigator or you can request their services when you need help. You’ll be able to reach out to them for help throughout your treatment and even into cancer survivorship. They will help you know what to expect during each stage of the treatment process.
“We are nurses and educators,” says Litton. “We help connect you to the information and resources you need to make informed decisions and get the care that is right for you.”
How much does an oncology nurse navigator cost?
Oncology nurse navigators provide free assistance to all patients. You won’t be charged for calling them one time or one hundred times. When you need help, your oncology nurse navigator is your go-to person.
Call today for an appointment