After hearing the words "you have cancer," trying to find the next steps to navigate your health care can be very overwhelming. Our multidisciplinary nurse navigators and care coordinators help guide you in the right direction to ensure you're being cared for in the best possible way.
Multidisciplinary Nurse Navigator
For a new cancer patient, there is an overwhelming amount of new information that may raise questions. Most patients will have multiple physicians with different roles in their care plan, and our multidisciplinary nurse navigator helps address the patient's needs throughout the process.
The nurse navigator role was developed within the creation of the multidisciplinary clinic program primarily to address patient needs throughout the care continuum. Each disease-specific multidisciplinary cancer clinic has a nurse navigator who manages the complex care processes from the time of diagnosis, through the treatment phase and post-recovery phase for each individual patient. This individual is often the first contact for the diagnosed patient and is seen as the “dot connector” for ongoing care. The objective is to reduce gaps in the care process, streamlining care, while the patient moves from one discipline to the next.
Besides being responsible for the operational clinic flow, the nurse navigator plays a major role in conducting the weekly team conferences in which the specialists meet to discuss each new patient and develop a team consensus for treating each individual patient. These patients are often seeking second opinions when they have progressed through standard treatment regimens offered at their local hospital or physician's office. The navigator will obtain pertinent records and recent pathology to give an updated patient history.
Brown Cancer Center offers a number of resources outside of your regular treatment plan. The care coordinator acts as the bridge between our multidisciplinary nurse navigators and the M. Krista Loyd Resource Center to ensure all patients have access to resources such as financial counseling, transportation, support groups, caregiver classes and a variety of therapies offered through the resource center.
The care coordinator also ensures you are prepared for your first appointment, including knowing where to park, where to go once you arrive and what to bring with you. You’ll receive a new patient packet from the care coordinator with this information and you’ll receive a phone call the business day before your appointment to address any outstanding questions you may have.
The navigator will also visit you during your first appointment so that you get to know the face of someone you can always call if you don’t know who else to ask and introduce you to the resources available through the M. Krista Loyd Resource Center.