When a woman receives a diagnosis of breast cancer, she can feel overwhelmed with all the information and appointments needed. To address this, Botsford Hospital’s nurse navigator works with women dealing with breast cancer as a knowledgeable clinical resource who can smooth the way.
Even though nurse navigator is a fairly new title in the nursing profession, it is becoming more common at cancer centers and large health care systems. Nurse navigators are on hand to provide patients the guidance they need to better understand their health care needs and deal with medical, emotional, educational and even financial issues.
Penny Widmaier, R.N., has a range of responsibilities at Botsford that include helping breast cancer patients plot a course through mammograms, testing, surgery, medical oncology and radiation oncology. She sees herself as an advocate for patients and as the familiar figure who will be with them every step of the way.
“I have seen how important it is to have support within the system for patients and their families,” Widmaier says. “I try to make their experience seamless and as easy as possible. Some people say I am like a big sister or best friend supporting them and making sure that they understand what happens next.”
DON’T FACE A DIAGNOSIS ALONE
Visit www.botsford.org/breast_center to learn about care and programs at the Botsford Breast Cancer Center.