Does everyone need a health navigator?
It is also important to note that not everyone will need or prefer the guidance of a health navigator. While all stand to benefit from the services provided, many health navigation providers understand that there are limits to the number of people and services they are able to provide. For individuals who are financially secure, educated, employed, and supported by family and friends, a health navigation program may not be necessary.
The complicated nature of the health care system means that it tends to favor those who are able to understand and navigate its channels with little to no assistance. Any disadvantage can mean the difference between receiving the proper care, or receiving any care at all. Those for whom English is a second-language, or those who do not speak or understand English are severely disadvantaged, even in the event that they have access to translators. Health navigators attempt to prevent these people from falling through the cracks, and it is these people who stand to benefit the most.
The best way to get started with a health navigation program is simply to ask. Health navigators will approach those who they feel will benefit from it the most, but they will rarely if ever turn a person down if that person expresses a desire to receive services. Having a health navigator on the team can make the entire process easier on the patient, as well as on their friends and family who will all be walking through cancer together.