The Oncology Nurse Navigator

Baptist Health Madisonville: The Oncology Nurse Navigator

Oncology nurse Heather Tow discusses her role as nurse navigator, describing how she supports patients diagnosed with cancer, meeting their needs through diagnosis and treatment.

The Oncology Nurse Navigator HealthTalks Transcript

Heather Tow, RN, OCN, Oncology

In cancer care, patient navigation is key to really identify patients at the point of diagnosis, to support them and find out what their barriers to care are — what kind of healthcare disparities do we have in our community. We work closely with the patients, families, caregivers, to really just make sure we navigate them through this complex health system.

Kara Davis, Dawson Springs, Kentucky

When I first got diagnosed and when I first found out I had breast cancer, I was very scared just about treatment, just very unsure about what was going to happen and what it meant.

Dr. Tow:
The title of my card says “Helping Hand.” Really, I’m just that constant person for them from start to finish. They start with one physician, and then they move to the next one, and a lot of times on to the next one, and that can be very overwhelming.

The team and Heather, they were all there every step of the way, just answering my questions and trying to calm my fears as much as they possibly could. Anything I needed they were there and willing to help, really going above and beyond what I could’ve really expected.

Dr. Tow:
We speed things along there aren’t gaps in between treatment and really just make sure that all their needs are taken care of from start to finish.

I cannot say enough good things about Heather. She has been my lifeline through this whole thing. I even refer to her as “My Heather.”

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