Daunting is the right word. We’d like all our health problems to be healed with a quick pill, but we know that’s not the case. For many conditions and most especially for cancer, there is a long process that involves tests and procedures in different locations with different doctors. It means words we’ve never heard of or don’t understand. And while it is happening, we are sick. If we are lucky, we have loved ones to help, but even then, they are not medical experts and they can be overwhelmed when they are completely healthy themselves.
That’s why the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HCA Midwest Health uses the Nurse Navigator during cancer treatment. A Nurse Navigator is specially trained and partners with their patients every step of the way. A person who knows your cancer in-depth and can talk to you about procedures and treatments, at times help you schedule your appointments and sometimes even stay with you during them. Then perhaps most importantly, they will listen. They will listen to what you are dealing with and take steps to smooth the path for you.
Nurse Navigators are ideal to help with patients receiving cancer treatment. Cancer treatment can overwhelm a newly diagnosed patient. The process may mean different treatments like surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or immunotherapy, in addition to supportive procedures like transfusions or port placement. Facing all of that while ill is just too much. The Nurse Navigator is there to help guide you.
Additionally, we have social workers and case managers available to help and support you and your family. They know the medical side. They are always ready to answer questions and make sure you know what your next steps are. You don’t have to go through it alone.