Aspirus provides complete patient support with Breast Health Nurse Navigators
As breast health remained in the spotlight this month, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Aspirus Health reminds women aged 40 and over to have an annual mammogram.
And, thanks to their ongoing commitment to patient care, Aspirus provides nurse navigation services to support anyone called back for additional imaging.
A team of three nurse navigators, Carla Bahr, RN, BSN, OCN, NE-BC; Stephanie Ostrowski, RN, BSN, CN-BN; and Amy Price, RN, BSN, ONC provide education and support while answering questions and concerns. They:
- Provide educational information, resources, and support to all those concerned about their breast health
- Facilitate appointments for diagnostic imaging and breast biopsy
- Provide information to patients with benign breast diseases
- Support patients with breast cancer and their family by navigating and ensuring proper access to needed services
- Help coordinate social and emotional needs for both patient and family
“We love supporting our patients, helping to alleviate stress and fear,” says Bahr. If, after additional imaging, a breast biopsy is needed, “Thankfully about 80% of breast biopsies are negative for a malignancy,” she explains. “For about the other 20% of patients, a nurse navigator becomes especially important as they navigate a cancer diagnosis and the many options and decisions that accompany this reality.”
The good news is, with continual advancements in mammography technology, “we’re catching very tiny cancers now,” says Ostrowski, increasing a patient’s chance for early detection and better outcomes.
Not only is the nurse navigator an expert when it comes to testing, pathology, and understanding the steps involved with a cancer diagnosis, but they also feel it’s a calling, and the importance of the emotional support they provide cannot be overstated. Price says, “One patient at a time, I get to make a difference.”
The ability to connect with their patients in a meaningful way at an important crossroads in their life is not taken lightly. Bahr leads the team which is centrally located at Aspirus Wausau Hospital and provides support as far north as the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Since one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, the need for nurse navigators is greater than ever.
With breast health nurse navigators available as an ongoing resource free of charge, Aspirus is committed to supporting patients every step along the way. They are available to consult with, free of charge, at 715-847-0066.