Navigators help colorectal cancer patients and their families
At Adena, we provide nurse navigators to help cancer patients “navigate” through the complex and sometimes confusing journey of battling cancer. Navigators are trained to assist with every step of care – from scheduling appointments, arranging transportation, assisting with financial counseling or just answering questions. The Adena Cancer Center has four specialized patient navigators to assist, lung cancer, head and neck cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer patients.
Jana Eldridge, RN, colorectal cancer nurse navigator
Jana has been with Adena for 13 of her 16 years as a nurse. She became a nurse navigator out of her passion for helping others, especially during difficult times. She acts as the central point of contact for patients and families, helping provide education so that patients can make informed decisions throughout the course of their treatment. She can assist with scheduling chemotherapy and radiation, obtaining chemotherapy medications and arranging appointments with surgeons or specialists who are involved in their care. “I love knowing that I am part of a team that is helping to save lives, and being that familiar and caring face for patients when they feel they are alone,” Eldridge says.
Q: Is there an additional cost to the patient for the services provided by a nurse navigator?
A: There is no additional cost for our services.
Q: How does a patient get assigned a nurse navigator?
A: When the patient receives a positive diagnosis, the nurse navigator steps in at that time. We will contact you, introduce ourselves and give you all of our contact information so that you can access us any time you need us.
Q: How long will a patient be assigned a nurse navigator?
A: The nurse navigator will support the patient through the entire process – from diagnosis and treatment to survivorship.
Q: What does a colorectal cancer nurse navigator do?
A: The nurse navigator helps coordinate physician appointments, surgeries, follow-up care, and if genetic testing is ordered by a physician, the nurse navigator will coordinate that, too. They also can give patients information about cancer resources, such as the American Cancer Society.
The colorectal cancer nurse navigator also provides consults to patients who may need home health care for physical therapy or colostomy care and can set up a consult with the wound/ostomy nurse for patients who may be having problems with their stoma.
In addition, the nurse navigator can help set up transportation, assist with financial counseling and help patients who do not have insurance get established with Medicaid.