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Open Access July 24, 2023 Endnote/Zotero/Mendeley (RIS) BibTeX

Role of Oncology Nurse Navigators: An Integrative Review

Abstract Background: Oncology nurse navigators (ONNs) are becoming even more vital as healthcare continues to develop into a more complicated, confusing maze for patients. When many specialists on the treatment team have divergent points of view due to the nature of their respective professions or other factors, the patient may experience feelings of confusion. In the end, this can cause delays in [...] Read more.
Background: Oncology nurse navigators (ONNs) are becoming even more vital as healthcare continues to develop into a more complicated, confusing maze for patients. When many specialists on the treatment team have divergent points of view due to the nature of their respective professions or other factors, the patient may experience feelings of confusion. In the end, this can cause delays in treatment, pose a threat to the established standard of care, and lead to a decrease in patient satisfaction. Aim: To enumerate various ways in which ONNs may help improve the quality of life of cancer patients. Design: An integrative review. Results: A total of 19 studies related to the topic are evaluated. Four main themes namely: provider of psychological support, facilitator of timely care, oncology nurse navigators perception of their role and patient’s perception of oncology nurse navigators and 3 sub themes which are: information giver, source of emotional support and coordinator, were identified to be the roles of the ONNs. The findings showed that oncology nurse navigators help reduce patients anxiety and distress, increase patient satisfaction, shorten the time from diagnosis to treatment, provide necessary information, support them emotionally and coordinate their care with the different members of the healthcare team and resources. Conclusion: The main function of the ONNs is to address any barrier that may hinder the patient’s cancer treatment, survivorship and even palliative care. ONNs make sure that each patient has individualized nursing care according to the patients and their families' needs. Implications for Practice: ONNs have the potential to significantly contribute not only to the quality of life of cancer patients but also to the process of achieving better service integration. The result of this integrative review contributes to the growth of the healthcare system by improving accessibility, fairness, efficiency, effectiveness, and the ability to maintain health services throughout time brought about by ONNs.
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