"We want to be a familiar face that patients can turn to about anything. Nurse navigators teach patients about their diagnosis as well as their treatment, and we can help explain terminology or procedures. We are an advocate for patients and help coordinate their care with radiation therapy, infusion services, surgery, hospice, and other services."—Chris O'Hara, RN, BSN, OCN
Getting Your Questions Answered
The diagnosis of cancer can be overwhelming. You and your loved ones may be facing many questions, medical treatment options, and lifestyle changes. You may be wondering:
- How do I tell my children?
- How can I put food on the table before paying medical bills?
- Will I be able to continue to work?
- Will my insurance cover medical treatment?
- How will treatment affect my strength?
- Will I be able to continue the activities I enjoy?
- Are there any clinical trials available to me?
Perhaps it feels like the cancer diagnosis has sent you on a journey into uncharted lands, where you don't "speak the language" or are unsure what questions to ask. Usually within the first week after meeting with your physician, we will set up an appointment for a pre-treatment consult (PTC). During the PTC, you will meet with one of PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center's nurse navigators, oncology social workers, insurance specialists, and pharmacists.
||How we can help|
Like compasses that provide direction, nurse navigators are registered nurses specializing in oncology who help guide you and your family through the healthcare system during your cancer experience. PeaceHealth Southwest Medcial Center's nurse navigators are your resource for information. They can provide one-on-one instruction and help you with specific resources related to your cancer diagnosis, treatment, and care.
||PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center's masters-level oncology social workers are professionals who are educated and trained to provide support, education, and resource coordination to you and your family throughout your experience at the Regional Cancer Center. The social worker may be able to help you with financial issues (including accessing assistance through local, state and federal programs). They are also able to help you and your family with the adjustment to your cancer diagnosis through ongoing support, counseling, and link to support groups.|
|Our on-staff licensed Life and Disability Insurance specialist will review your medical benefits with you, as well as answer any questions you may have about your rights as an insured or Medicare recipient. You will be provided with insurance resources that may be available to you during treatment.|
||A PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center staff pharmacist will provide information about your chemotherapy treatment, such as the schedule, side effects, and how to take your medications at home. You will be given detailed information. The pharmacist may ask you what medications you are currently taking, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbal products.|