"So I have cancer…now what?"
When you ask that question, it's our patient navigator (also called an oncology navigator) who will answer. Working closely with each patient's urologist, our patient navigator is a nurse practitioner or a registered nurse who specializes in guiding newly diagnosed patients and their caregivers through the cancer journey, from diagnosis through survivorship.
The patient navigator is an expert in understanding the details of cancer treatment and will support, inform, guide, and answer questions for you through all stages of treatment and beyond. As advocates for patients and their families during prostate cancer treatment, they enhance the quality of care you receive.
The navigator will contact you following your cancer diagnosis and will stay in touch with you. Our navigators are available in person, by phone, through e-mail, and through Skype.
Meet Chesapeake Urology's Patient Navigators
What is the patient navigator's role in my care?
- To guide newly diagnosed patients and establish rapport with caregivers and loved ones.
Following your diagnosis and your conversation with your urologist, you will get a phone call from our patient navigator. She will make an appointment with you at a convenient time so that she can answer your questions regarding treatment. She will help you plan your next steps including setting up consultations with physicians, getting referrals, and scheduling additional tests and procedures.
- To have meaningful discussions with you following your initial consultations with your Chesapeake Urology physicians.
It is often difficult for patients to understand their specific care options at a time when they are feeling overwhelmed by the news of the cancer diagnosis. Your patient navigator will be there to help ensure that you and your family are empowered with information so that you can cope with the demands and side effects of whichever treatment you elect. For example, she can help you understand your Gleason score and make certain you know what the next steps are. Your patient navigator will also contact you before and after treatment, as well as following all outside second opinions that you may receive.
- To anticipate your needs and connect you with resources and support services.
She can anticipate how your treatment process will go and troubleshoot potential barriers to care, whether they are financial or involve coordination, communication or transportation. You may call or visit her as often as you need for support, information, and assistance throughout the course of your treatment-and afterwards-into your survivorship.
Patient Navigators touch the hearts of our patients - read their story here.
How will I communicate with my patient navigator?
It's natural to have a lot of questions throughout the treatment process. Your patient navigator is available a number of convenient ways-email, phone, or on Skype by computer. Skyping allows you to have face-to-face contact with her from the comfort of your home. With your permission, we encourage your family member or caregivers to be part of the conversation so that the important people in your life can participate in decisions, as well as learn and get their questions answered firsthand.
A recovery coach is another support person who is available for newly diagnosed patients. If you are interested, tell your patient navigator. You will then be matched up with a recovery coach who will mentor you through your cancer journey. Your coach will be a prostate cancer survivor with a similar clinical situation, age, interests and social concerns as you.