The Best Part of Being a Nurse Navigator

The Best Part of Being a Nurse Navigator

Rose Wolfe, one of Work Stride’s oncology nurse navigators, talks about a recent opportunity she had to support a woman at a company that offers the program to their employees:

As a Work Stride oncology nurse navigator, I have had the privilege of helping hundreds of individuals with their questions and concerns about a cancer diagnosis, treatment options, work-related issues and challenges of caregiving. Employees reach out to me by phone or email or quite often when I’m visiting an employer site to raise awareness about the availability of the Work Stride program. That’s how I met Jane (not her real name). I gave an informational talk about Work Stride at her company’s benefits fair, and she asked me if she could have a few minutes to talk one-on-one.

Jane’s dad, who lives in a fairly isolated rural area, had recently been diagnosed with skin cancer. She asked me to look at her dad’s pathology report, which she had with her, and I took some time to help her better understand it and his doctor’s proposed treatment plan. I asked her about the oncologist’s practice to try to determine if her dad was in the best facility for the care he would need. Although she didn’t know too much about the practice, she was very clear that she would welcome any help and guidance I could offer. So, I started by giving her a list of questions she could ask the oncologist, and I suggested that she and her dad get a second opinion at a comprehensive cancer center.

Not long after I got back to Hopkins, Jane phoned to say that she and her dad agreed that a second opinion would be very helpful, and I was able to help them get an appointment at an excellent comprehensive cancer center not far from where Jane’s dad lived. After their initial appointment, Jane called to tell me that she and her dad were so impressed by the physician and the center that they had transferred his care there.

After several months of treatment, Jane’s dad is doing very well, and she couldn’t be more grateful.  She said, “I really didn’t know where to start to help dad get the oncology treatment he needed. Your advice and the connections you helped us make have made this process so much easier to deal with.”

And that, for me, is the best part of being a Work Stride nurse navigator.