Every cancer patient deserves the best care possible. There isn’t a provider on the planet who disagrees with that. For many cancer centers and health systems, the best means putting together an all-star team capable of meeting the full needs of the patient, including “financial, psychological, social, logistical or related to communication.” That is why no oncology team is complete without an Oncology Nurse Navigator.

An Oncology Nurse Navigator is a clinically trained individual (typically a professional RN with oncology-specific clinical knowledge) who offers individualized assistance to patients and caregivers to help address barriers to timely and appropriate cancer treatment. They advocate for their patients throughout the cancer care continuum from diagnosis through survivorship and coordinate all components involved in cancer care, including surgical, medical, and radiation oncologists; social workers; patient education; community support; financial and insurance assistance; etc. They perform a vital role on the patient’s cancer care team.

Bringing on an Oncology Nurse Navigator is the first step. Equipping them with the best tools available is the second. That is why so many providers turn to Bag It Cancer. Oncology Nurse Navigators can assist patients with various issues beyond healthcare; comprehensive patient education tools like Bag It matter a lot in these situations. By providing a Bag It Bag, an Oncology Nurse Navigator can also help a patient learn to advocate for themselves and introduce them to reliable information that can often be difficult to find.

Mary Verplank photo Nurse Navigator, Retired

”When meeting patients for the first time, we often find the devastation of the new Cancer diagnosis to be overwhelming.  They are not sure who to turn to, or where to begin.  As certified Nurse Navigators, our first meeting is a cornerstone for care needs and coordination.

Having the Bag It Bag helps to introduce our ability to support and stabilize the care they need.  At the same time, we use it to education them in essential ways.  Lastly, it is a place to keep things from getting misplaced, and helps keep the Cancer ‘in its place’ in their lives from the start.”

Anyone that has ever met with an Oncology Nurse Navigator knows that support like patient education matters a lot and can be the difference between a good and bad experience for patients and caregivers.

So, if you don’t already have an Oncology Nurse Navigator on your team, or are interested in becoming a certified navigator, reach out to our friends at the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN).

If your practice needs to upgrade your patient education materials to match your new all-star team, please reach out at cj@bagitcancer.org and learn how Bag It can enhance your practice.

 

 

 

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