Oncology Navigator Services
Nurse Navigators are patient educators and care navigators on a mission to improve the cancer care experience for each patient. According to the Oncology Nursing Society, the Oncology Nurse Navigator (ONN) is a professional registered nurse with oncology-specific knowledge and offers individualized assistance to patients, families and caregivers to help overcome health care system barriers.
A nurse navigator will expedite appointments, explain treatments and procedures and keep track of all the specialists involved in the cancer care treatment plan. Navigators will help patients navigate through imaging studies, medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgery and other testing. The navigator works closely with every member of your healthcare team to keep the lines of communication open and be a consistent contact for each patient.
The oncology navigators program is one of the many reasons why Wesley Medical Center is one of the preferred locations for cancer treatment in Kansas. This service is free for all our patients and is part of our multidisciplinary approach for cancer treatment.
Chelsea Simpson, RN, BSN, OCN
Chelsea is a lung nurse navigator that oversees Wesley’s lung cancer screening and incidental lung nodule navigation programs. Prior to her navigator role, Chelsea worked as an assistant nurse manager where she oversaw and provided preoperative and postoperative care to cardiac and thoracic surgery patients. She has a wide range of medical-surgical experience in multiple specialties including oncology, urology, pulmonary, gastrointestinal and hematology. To refer a patient for more information about lung navigation services, lung screenings of Wesley’s lung nodule program, please call (316) 962-2007.
Erica Denno, RN, BSN, OCN
Erica is a gastrointestinal navigator supporting patients with esophageal, gastric, hepatobiliary, pancreatic and colorectal cancers. Prior to her navigator role, she worked on Wesley’s surgical oncology floor. She is an oncology certified nurse and is chemotherapy certified through the Oncology Nursing Society. To refer a patient for more information about gastrointestinal services, please call (316) 962-3342.
An oncology navigator can:
- Provide education regarding diagnosis and treatments, empowering the patients to make informed treatment decisions
- Provide emotional support and help patients achieve confidenece in order to be their own patient advocate
- Serve as a resource to patients and families for questions about the disease, next steps, referrals and support such as financial aid, dietary teaching and transportation or child care assistance
- Connect patients to resources inside and outside Wesley Medical Center
- Eliminate barriers to care and enhance communication between all healthcare providers
How does patient navigation make a difference?
- Coordinate communication between medical professionals and patients
- Help patients to understand the importance of follow-up care and taking their medications as prescribed
- Connect patients to appropriate resources to ensure that all barriers of care are addressed and responded to in a timely manner
- Ensure patients move rapidly through the healthcare system
- Reduce the fear and frustrations for patients and caregivers
- Provide a support system for the patient and their family at a critical time – after a cancer diagnosis and through treatment
- Facilitate communication and act as a liaison with the healthcare team on behalf of the patient