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Nurse Navigators are trained, culturally-sensitive healthcare professionals who work with patients, families, physicians, and the healthcare system to ensure cancer patient needs are fittingly and effectively addressed.
Oncology Nurse Navigators are a group of registered nurses (RNs) with a specialization in oncology. Their practice is guided by the Oncology Nursing Society, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and the National Cancer Institute.
The Nurse Navigator's role
The most important role of a Nurse Navigator is to make sure that individuals with cancer findings receive timely diagnosis and treatment.
Nurse Navigators also help cancer patients "navigate" the healthcare system and access appropriate social and financial services.
Your Nurse Navigator can help in a variety of ways. To begin, he or she will prepare a resource manual that is personalized for your unique cancer care needs.
You may rely on your Nurse Navigator throughout the treatment and recovery plan to help:
- Coordinate appointments with providers to ensure timely diagnosis and treatment.
- Provide emotional support and information on what to expect as a cancer patient.
- Respond to phone calls about symptoms and concerns.
- Collaborate with all members of the cancer care team.
- Help with understanding of the cancer diagnosis.
- Help arrange for transportation for cancer treatment visits.
- Provide assistance with insurance issues.
- Provide referrals to additional resources, such as nutrition care, lymphedema prevention and management, prosthesis, and, emotional, grief and stress support.
- Assist in follow-up care after treatments have concluded.
- Help with the completion of applications for pharmaceutical benefit programs, indigent care, pre-authorizations, and other services to provide high quality and less stressful care.
Please contact us if you have any questions about the role of the Nurse Navigator on your Care Team.
Mari Damhof, RN, BSN, OCN, ONN Oncology Nurse Navigator
Willmar Regional Cancer Center
320.231.4483 - office
320.212.3438 - cell
320.231.4570 - cancer center