The Role of the Breast Health Navigator
A Breast Health Navigator is a nursing professional who is specially trained to coordinate the clinical, educational and supportive needs of patients who are either facing a possible breast cancer diagnosis or who have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer. They have earned certification through the National Consortium of Breast Centers and the Oncology Nursing Society.
Through one-on-one contact, navigators work with patients to remove barriers to care and ensure patients receive the support they need, including education and coordination to assist patients in securing appointments. Dedicated to decreasing fear and anxiety, they also promote communication between the patient and their healthcare providers and connect patients and families to resources and support services including social workers, dieticians and survivorship care.
The Breast Health Navigator can:
- Obtain a complete breast history and risk assessment
- Provide a clinical breast exam
- Educate patients on benign and malignant breast disease
- Work with providers to facilitate additional diagnostic testing, as required
- Facilitate communication and coordinate appointments with the other experts within the Center, including oncologists and surgeons
- Provide emotional support