Health care has become a complex business. This complexity will grow day by day. A nurse navigator is a caregiver who assists the patient in making decisions about his/her care and help in navigating the care. This is important to manage time and reaching health goals. Today nurse navigator job has become an important role in the health care sector. The demand for nurse navigator increase as the complexity of the health care sector increases.
Nurses always unofficially act as navigators in different situations.
A nurse navigator always focuses on his/her client and their families. So a nurse navigator will provide his/her service to his clients and their families.
The primary goal of the nurse navigator is to focus on the clinical aspects and patient care. A navigator in nursing will answer the patient’s questions and always be there for the patients to resolve their problems regarding the care.
A patient can clarify anything regarding his/her care, diagnostic methods, or any other related things by talking to a nurse navigator. As there is a limited number of physicians and nurses are available and due to the shortage of time, they will not have enough time to explain everything to the patient. In such situations, the nurse navigator plays an important role within the health care setting. Physicians focus on medical treatments while nurses focus on clinical care are and documentation so they will not have enough time to navigate the patient.
The nurse navigator will explain the care, procedures, treatments, and diagnostic procedures to the patient in a way that the patient can understand.
The educational background of the patient will differ from person to person. So it is a navigator’s duty to know the patient background. Then it will be easy for the navigator to explain the things to the patient in a manner that the patient will understand.
Nurse navigators always explain the procedures as well as the rationale behind each procedure and the way these things help in the final result. These things are done to reduce the fear, anxiety prior to these procedures or the treatments.
Relieving anxiety can greatly help in achieving good results in health care. So nurse navigators are an important character in the health care setting.
Patients will always compare their treatment methods or the procedures with another person’s treatments, or they try to compare what they have heard or have seen in the media or else on the internet. It is a navigator’s job to help the patient to clarify and understand things in such situations.
Nurse navigator job role .
The role can vary according to their workplace and their capabilities. They are advocators.
Navigators will translate the medical information into the patient’s language. Or else they will make them easy to understand. That means they will teach in a way the patient can understand. They will explain things by considering the patient’s age, occupation, and educational background. However, they explain in a way that the patients can understand. This will help the patient to imagine the procedures that they will undergo in near future.
Navigator will explain the prescribed medications, Why there are prescribed, Their action inside the body, and also the possible side effects. If the drug is cautious then it is the navigator’s duty to explain the extra precautions. We can not say that a navigator will do these steps for sure. It depends on the situation. In an emergency, we do not ask navigators to explain. Even we go for the surgeries without patient consent, in order to save a life.
Assessing psychological conditions is important. A navigator can assess the psychological status while dealing with the patient. Most of the chronic patients will suffer from psychological distress. Due to prolong hospitalization, chronic pain, change in physical appearance, or maybe a result of prescribed medication. So it is important to observe the patient’s behavior. If the nurse navigator suspects such a condition it is his/her duty to inform that to the health care team and refer the patient to the relevant counselor or the doctor.
A nurse navigator will always build a strong nurse-patient relationship. This will help to understand the family background, social history, economical background, and health history of the patient.
If the patient is having financial difficulties a navigator’s duty is to refer him to a social worker or any supportive organization. If the patient is addicted to drugs or alcohol it is a must to consider the withdrawal steps. It is important to ensure the information provided by the patient is 100% accurate.
Empowering the patient is important. Most of the patients and their families are hopeless. We must encourage the positive participation of their families toward treatments. We must empower the patient to get the correct treatments. In such situations, we can use recovered patients as examples.
A nurse navigator work as a team with other health care providers. They work cooperatively to arrange different procedures. Navigators can help in arranging the treatments at the correct time.
Qualities you must have to be qualified for the nurse navigator Job.
Other than the clinical skills a navigator should develop the following qualities to deliver quality care to the patients.
Respect towards patients and their family members – A nurse always respects their patients. It is important to think about the patient’s situation. Provide respect while talking, caring, and in every step.
Communication skills – A navigator must maintain open communication with the other caregivers. The navigator must have the ability to simplify things and communicate in a way that patient can understand. She/he must develop skills to communicate with any type of patient.
Respecting other’s values – It is a must to prefer the patient’s values, religious beliefs, societal concerns before providing any kind of care. It’s the patient right to decide his/her treatments. We can assist other caregivers in decision making about the patient because the navigator is the right person who knows about the patient’s preferences.
A navigator can support the patients prior to their surgeries. Patients can clarify things with the help of the nurse navigator. The navigator is supposed to explain the procedure, how it is done, who is doing the surgery, what will happen within the surgery, and about the post-operative procedures as well as complications. Navigator will explain the importance of the surgery and the possible complication the patient might face if he/she refuses to do the surgery. After providing information navigators will help the patient in providing informed consent. At the same time can inform the family about post-operative care, special considerations, and dietary management.
On the discharge day, providing information about follow-up care is important. Can educate both the patient and the family about home care.
The role of a navigator will be important in palliative care. In the end-stage conditions, it is important to consider about the physical and psychological condition of the patient. To increase the quality of life navigators must consider pain management. Assessing the pain level will be important. The navigators will spend more time with the end-stage patient and assist in peaceful death. The primary goal of palliative care is alleviating suffering.
The nurse navigator position was initiated around oncology/ cancer care.
Nurse navigator vs. care coordinator
A care coordinator always coordinates the care with other health care professionals. They are there to coordinate the care and treatments. But a nurse navigator help in relieving care-related anxiety, answer patient’s questions, and assist in decision making.
What is the primary goal of the nurse navigator?
The primary goal is to, Make the patient aware able about the treatments and the current condition of the disease.
Interesting read on nurse navigator job? You can also Read: Why Is Research Important?