The nurse navigator is a bridge between you and the other members of your clinical care team. From your first consultation to treatment, they’re there to help you navigate the complexities of the healthcare system.
Keep in mind that not every pediatric endocrinologist office has a nurse navigator on staff. Instead, other members of your care team will fill the various responsibilities of this role and help you on your way.
Who is the Nurse Navigator?
Modern healthcare and insurance can be overwhelming–it can feel a bit like traveling to another country and not being able to understand the language or customs. The nurse navigator helps you on your journey, serving as your translator and expert guide.
The nurse navigator position is relatively new, with most working in cardiology, oncology, and other specialized critical care sectors. You may have your own nurse navigator to help you throughout your child’s CPP diagnosis and treatment.
The responsibilities and roles of the nurse navigator vary depending on each doctor’s office. At your office, this person may have a different title, such as health navigator, patient navigator, or patient advocate. You may also find that the role of the navigator is played by your nurse, the office manager, or another staff person wearing multiple hats. Depending on the practice, you may not have a single, designated nurse navigator, but rather, multiple people filling the role and assisting you on this journey.
What Does a Nurse Navigator Do?
Throughout your care, your nurse navigator is your point of contact. They’ll liaise between you and the other members of the care team, passing along questions and sharing new information. Duties the nurse navigator may perform include:
- Answer your questions (or find answers to those questions!)
- Be a source of information about your child’s condition, treatments, side effects, and prescriptions
- Share resources, including testing or treatment options
- Translate complex medical information
- Provide referrals
- Find and coordinate care services
- Schedule appointments, procedures, and testing
Though these exact duties may differ depending on your doctor’s office, the nurse navigator is there to advocate for and support you throughout your time there.
A CPP diagnosis can be scary, but you’re not alone on this journey. Reach out to your care team and meet with your nurse navigator. Together, you’ll get through this.