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The Benefits of Nurse Navigators in Mesothelioma: Lien Hua-Feng, RN, and Graciela Hoal, RN, NP


Thanks Claire I'm a little nervous I wish I can have Dr Hui come and do some acupuncture on me to help me relax a little bit so I'm here to speak of the benefits of nurse navigators in mesothelioma so there's a couple of definitions for nurse navigator and so I put a couple of of definitions and they're all essentially the same and it's it's a medical professional to help patients and their families and caregivers from the initial diagnosis through all of the continuum to help them you know getting access to care to have a help help them define or to help them understand the different concepts the different special physicians are going to see and to make informed decisions on what they're going to decide so this is another one by the oncology nurse society and it's individualized assistance offered to patients families caregivers to help overcome the healthcare system barriers are healthcare is a big problem and every system which whether its height of Kaiser another HMO the VA where I'm at we all have barriers and if you can have someone who understands the system that's really half the battle to know who to contact to know where you're going to get your access how and what not even small details like we're gonna park where you're going to stay that sort of thing so nurse navigator is not really a new concept it actually dates back to nineteen nineties Dr

Freemen started a started the nurse navigator program for underserved population women with breast cancer and what they found it was that they actually found that there was a five-year cancer survival rates in these patients that went through the navigation system so it's not new it actually has been around longer than years so in there's a report that came out that said that surely anyone that all patients you know across that all Americans across all socio-economic levels had a lot of a lot of barriers to health care cancer care to cancer care so it wasn't unique just too low socioeconomic status it's actually just across the all Americans you have barriers to access quality care and then in President Bush he signed legislation that impatient obligation projects to get federal funds to offer patient navigator outreach to chronic diseases and cancer is a chronic disease because a lot of people are surviving and needing care for many years and in in the American College of Surgeons commission on cancer they set a new standard that in order for a program to be accredited by them you need to have a nurse navigator so it is it is making a big difference ok so what are the qualifications so there are some navigating programs that are not nurses are actually they're called patient navigators and their people that were trained and they they may be cancer survivors or they may be family of of someone who had cancer and they're there to help get patients with the new diagnosis to get through the health care to let them know what's going on or share experiences with them so there is a spectrum of nurse navigator programs there is a lower one where it might be when I should say lower but there's one where might be of a layman person not necessarily a put a medical provider and they and then there's some that offer navigation from their diagnosis until treatment some is from the initial diagnosis all the way until the end of life or whatever so there are a spectrum minute and then in nurse navigators in the qualifications it is a registered nurse or advanced practice nurses people who have either bachelor's or master's in nursing we get certified through a national commission and we we have essential no sets of skills that help us assist patients and what to expect what who they're going to see and help them you know to find all these different studies and diagnosis in terms that they're going to be hearing really soon so these are some of the terminology that all the sudden you know people get a life-changing diagnosis and they if they don't have a nurse navigator and they go see their oncologist or primary care provider apologist whoever did the initial diagnosis and there they might hear some of these terms and not all of them but as they go through and see other specialists they'll hear you know cryoablation sarcomatoid epithelioid radiation all this all the stuff that is really overwhelming and in particular to someone who just obtained this this diagnosis so we as nurse navigators can help patients you know it's described all these different terms and when do they come in the continuum of treatment and and management we are often the first contact for a patient a lot of times I get patients you know i'm at the VA so I get patients from other parts of the country letting me know i have mesothelioma and and my my doctors telling me I need to have chemotherapy and that I have nine lives to live like that's a typical mesothelioma call that I get from patients so I really help them explain to them what we have what we have to offer that it isn't just chemotherapy explain to them the disease you know is that epithelioid is a sarcomatoid what side is it isn't limited to above the diaphragm are there other and any other areas we help them you know how to get to us at the VA is you know who to who to contact how to make arrangements to get them to us get them you know travel reimbursement get them out to to see us to get to specialty care we also educate them on the different options of treatment and we we offer i think a lot of hope to patients because a lot of times when they get these this diagnosis there there is no very I mean it's just life-changing and they get very depressant so when they speak to us and our at least I feel that whenever I speak to them they we hang up the phone and there is hope there is like something like okay there's something out there there's people that care there's people are looking out for us so we offer a lot of support we answer all these questions and this is really good because by the time i see Dr Cameron and he talked to them we have already explained a lot of things and so when he has a more in-depth conversation about their treatment about other things he doesn't have to spend time explaining all the different little details that we do so there there is literature to support that there are the benefits of nurse navigator improves the timeliness and continuity of care reduce the emergency department visits I get lots of calls from patients before and after surgery regarding how they're feeling let them know what whether it's normal abnormal maybe they just need you know stool softener or something like that so i can help them with that stuff they don't need to come to the emergency room it's not a burden it's you know not as expensive than to come to the ER to be admitted for something we can prevent some admit admissions and an ER visits just threw a phone call improve wait times between visits and test so they come and see us and Dr Cameron recommends a biopsy or some other treatment instead of putting the consult and waiting for that other team to eventually call the patient we make sure that the next day were on the phone calling other services and making sure that this patient gets into the system a lot faster so that way the patient's get pretty good care and the fact that were available patients call us all the time and we return calls and listen to them and you know they that that really increases patient satisfaction because they have someone to call someone to communicate someone even if it's just to listen you know to say I couldn't sleep last night or something and also compliance and treatment program it improves it because we're there were kind coaches also we tell them you know make sure you're taking this you know try this try that you know with interferon it's like maybe try it at night taking tylenol or do this or we know where they're helping them and so it does increase compliance and then patients anxiety and and physical pain again that's you know people are anxious they're going to have their it's going to come out in other ways it could be in pain it can be in other ways insomnia so if we can let patients like this is normal it can get its gonna get better then people start feeling better and and they could enjoy life mm so the overall goal is really just to decrease morbidity and mortality by eliminating barriers to timely access to Cancer Care you know nurses navigators can help decrease the morbidity mortality by eliminating the barriers to access cancer care to understand all the all the terms to understand why the Diagnostics that they're undergoing to understand the treatment to be there for them to answer questions to them into their families to their caregivers and these barriers actually convicted can be anything financial psychosocial logistics just letting them know how to get to us and how to maneuver through a very very complicated healthcare system and not that my talk was very short and sweet

Source: Youtube

The Benefits of Nurse Navigators in Mesothelioma: Lien Hua-Feng, RN, and Graciela Hoal, RN, NP

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