Breast Care Navigators Guide Patients Through Treatment
Source: Geisinger Health System
Geisinger Wyoming Valley Breast Program offers a service that pairs patients undergoing treatment for a range of breast diseases with a specially trained nurse called a breast care navigator. This service is available at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre, Geisinger-Lake Scranton and Geisinger-Mt. Pocono.
Nurse navigators follow patients through every step of their treatment, and offer individualized guidance, serve as emotional counselors, and provide educational materials and resources to help patients and their families cope with the various stresses they may experience.
“Being diagnosed and coping with a breast disease can be confusing, stressful and incredibly overwhelming,” said nurse navigator Victoria Keeler, RN, BSN. “Breast care navigators can help patients sort through the many questions and uncertainties that arise throughout their course of treatment.”
In addition to the comfort and support they provide, navigators offer factual information on benign and malignant breast diseases, as well as helping the patient understand their treatment options.
“Navigators do not offer opinions or advice on treatments; they support physicians and their decisions. A navigator is an extra resource that can provide additional information to patients,” Keeler said.
The breast program sees about 15 new patients every week. Not all of them are cancer patients–some suffer from benign breast diseases. This service is an integrated part of the care of any patient diagnosed with a breast disease.
“This is a wonderful program, and I am proud to offer this service to our patients,” Keeler said. “Navigators can be a friend during a very difficult time for a patient and their family, and sometimes a friend is a patient’s most pressing need.”
Founded in 1915, Geisinger Health System (Danville, Pennsylvania) is one of the nation’s largest integrated health services organizations. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org.
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