Oncology (Cancer) Nurse Navigators
When someone is diagnosed with cancer, it can be an overwhelming experience. That's why we have experienced cancer nurses and a specialized team of Cancer Nurse Navigators that help patients through the process.
Our Cancer Centers have Cancer Nurse Navigators on staff strategically throughout the Memorial Hermann system to assist cancer patients in the transition from diagnosis through treatment and beyond. Patients are then able to traverse their cancer pathway more easily and focus on recovery and healing.
What is an Oncology (Cancer) Nurse Navigator?
The Cancer Nurse Navigator whose clinical nursing expertise guides patients, families and their caregivers to informed decision-making and collaborates with a multi-disciplinary team to allow for the best care.
Memorial Hermann Nurse Navigators are Registered Nurses who have 3 or more years of oncology nursing experience or experience in a related subspecialty with professional certification as an OCN, AOCNS or certification within the clinical specialty.
Redefining the Patient Experience
The Cancer Nurse Navigator redefines the patient experience and ensures quality outcomes by combining knowledge and skills with the support, compassion and spirituality our patients deserve.
The Cancer Nurse Navigator becomes the central point of contact for coordinating communication with all treatment team members and ensures that cancer patients received quality cancer care and treatment. They facilitate communication with staff and providers to encourage patient participation in their own care.
How Can an Oncology (Cancer) Nurse Navigator Help Me?
A cancer diagnosis can be a frightening and confusing experience. With so many choices to make and so much to learn about your illness and your treatment, it can be hard to know where to turn.
Role and Responsibilities
The Cancer Nurse Navigator:
- Is the primary resource for newly diagnosed cancer patients
- Helps ensure that you understand each step of your treatment by serving as a liaison between you and your cancer treatment team such as:
- Primary Care Physicians
- Informs you about the services and resources available to you, within Memorial Hermann and in your community
- Helps coordinate your care
- Helps you understand what to expect and answers your questions
- Provides emotional support through your cancer journey to help you better cope and sustain the best quality of life possible
- Provides up-to-date educational resources and information about cancer to you and your family
- Assists and coordinates resources for smoking cessation, wigs, and prosthetics when applicable
- Connects you with community resources such as CanCare and American Cancer Society
Within Memorial Hermann, the Cancer Nurse Navigator is there every step of the way with patient follow-up that includes frequent individualized communication until patients are comfortable with their condition and considered well and confident enough to be on their own.
Memorial Hermann Oncology (Cancer) Nurse Navigators
- Memorial City and West Houston: Karen Davin, B.S., R.N., O.C.N. (Breast Cancer Nurse Navigator) and Jessica Burgess, B.S.N., R.N., O.C.N.
- Northeast Houston: Carol Kirton, B.S.N., R.N., O.C.N.
- Northwest Houston: Angela Sisk, M.S.N., R.N., O.C.N.
- Southwest Houston: Lilian Sweeney, R.N., B.S.N., O.C.N., C.B.C.N. (Breast Cancer Nurse Navigator)
- South Region: Deidra Teoh, M.S.N., R.N., O.C.N. (Lung Nurse Navigator)
- Texas Medical Center: Sylvia Brown, M.S.N., R.N., O.C.N., C.N.L.
- The Woodlands and North Houston: Carolyn Allsen, B.S.N., R.N., O.C.N.
Additional Emotional Support
In addition to highly personalized physical care, the care team at the Cancer Center also provides emotional support during the entire course of each patient's treatment. Dietitians and social workers support the physicians and nurses, assisting patients through recovery and healing.