Are you a social worker? Are you a nurse? Are you looking for ways to volunteer and use your skills? Are you looking for a new career in the health field? Are you just starting your college or graduate course of study? Think about becoming a cancer navigator.
Let’s face it; there really is no cure for cancer. The only cancer vaccine is for cervical cancer. While that is fantastic and I don’t mean to underestimate the impact and advances that the vaccine offers to the world of cancer, the majority of cancers are still incurable.
Many hospitals and large cancer clinics are hiring ‘Cancer Navigators’. These people help patients in the throes of cancer. They help them navigate their insurance and health resources and problems. They help with the emotional side of dealing with cancer. Recent research has shown many cancer patients display the same symptoms as post-traumatic stress disorders.
Being thrown into the world of cancer is like Alice going down the rabbit hole. There are numerous blood tests, appointments with various specialists, and exams and treatments. One chemotherapy session can last 6 hours! Not knowing which way to turn, a Cancer Navigator comes to the rescue.
When most people hear their diagnosis is cancer their brain turns off. Oncologists know this and usually big notebooks are given to the patient or the patient’s family with resources and advice, but some one has to open and read what is in the notebook. To the rescue, the Cancer Navigator can meet with the patient and family and highlight what is in the book!
The American Cancer Society hires cancer navigators. Susan Komen for the Cure grants money to community hospitals and organizations that apply for a cancer navigator position. It is a special person who can do the job. It takes a wealth of patience and inner strength to enjoy and be effective in this job. I have met a few cancer navigators and being able to navigate in the best interest for the patient the labyrinth of cancer care in my opinion is equivalent to mastering the world!
Have you had similar experiences or know some one who is a cancer navigator?