Establishing a healthcare relationship
Since a health navigator can operate in a number of different fields, it is important to find one that will best suit that patient’s individual needs. Nurses who function in a health navigator capacity are better suited for actually treating the patient, and being with the patient in bedside situations. Social workers are better suited for meeting outside of the hospital, of assisting the patient in making the transition from diagnosis to treatment, and in resolving insurance and logistic issues.
For that matter, not all health navigators and health navigation programs will be based at a hospital or medical center. In some cases, it may be more beneficial to seek out health navigators in a third-party environment, where services can be received over the phone or through video conferences. Certain companies offer their services as an employee benefit, and any time a patient access the services of a registered nurse navigator, the employee’s company will cover the costs.
In all circumstances, the relationship between the patient and the health navigator often becomes one of the most trusted and beneficial relationships that a patient can have. While a majority of the research and logistic work is conducted by the health navigator, it is still up to the patient to make informed decisions about their own health and well-being. In this sense, the relationship is one of working together to address one of the more difficult circumstances that life can present.