NORTHFIELD, Minn.--(Cancer Care & Infusion Center at Northfield Hospital & Clinics, we have a patient navigation program to help cancer patients and their families every step of the way.)--A cancer diagnosis often triggers so many questions and emotions that it can be difficult to know where to turn. At the
A patient navigator is a registered nurse or in social services with special expertise in helping patients understand their cancer care. He or she coordinates care, answers questions and provides support so the patient can stay on track with treatment.
How can a patient navigator help? The patient navigator is available from when a patient is diagnosed with cancer through treatment, recovery and afterward. A patient navigator may not have all the answers all the time, but he or she can point patients in the right direction to make a big difference in how cancer patients and their families cope. A patient navigator can help in the following ways:
The logistics of receiving care:
- Scheduling and coordinating appointments.
- Finding answers to insurance questions.
- Helping patients successfully manage their care.
Information and access to care:
- Helping patients understand treatment and how to cope with its effects.
- Advocating for patients and their families.
- Communicating with all members of the cancer care team.
Support during and after treatment:
- Helping patients and families cope with emotional needs.
- Arranging for home health care or home medical equipment.
- Accessing support groups and classes.
Our team includes surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, nurses and technologists, all working in close contact with your primary care provider to deliver the best cancer care. Having access to multiple specialists and the latest technology and treatment options for fighting cancer is a good thing. However, it's easy to become overwhelmed with multiple tests, doctors, appointments and instructions to keep track of – and that's why a patient navigator is a critical member of our cancer care team.
The goal of the patient navigator is to reduce the stress and manage the details so the patient can focus on getting better with treatment. To learn more about the patient navigator program at Northfield Hospital & Clinics, please call 507-646-6979 or visit www.northfieldhospital.org.