Patient navigators or patient advocates are a new type of workers in the healthcare field who are now getting familiar with hospitals and communities. They help patients to navigate through the complex American healthcare system and extend a helping hand.
The impact of the news that one is suffering from cancer is big and often quite disturbing. Its tough to absorb all the information that comes in the first visit according to Sara Cockerham, manager of Cancer Resources and Navigation at Providence. Thus, their organization helps people to comprehend this information and continue with their daily life.
Cockerham says that the goal of the organization is to educate and support as well as connect the necessary resources for the patients. Cancer care navigators bridge the understanding gap for patients i.e. make them understand the medical terms they are hearing for the first time.
Patients are already worried about battling such a tough disease. The work of a patient navigator varies. It also involves explaining the treatment protocols and the insurance terms and facilities for approvals, helping people without insurance to connect with community and government resources.
They educate patients that cancer can be often cured and is manageable. Their work is to ensure the patients that at present things seem to be rough but, they won’t be the same forever. The cancer care navigators are focused on a mission to provide service to the vulnerable and poor too.
So, the work of cancer care navigators is to provide unconditional support to patients experiencing cancer.