Many patients need to be educated about their disease. Other
patients just need reassurance prior to their appointment. They
have lots of anxieties and need to know that it's "OK" that
they're anxious, but I like to be a support for them. Patients
also have families. They bring their families, and their
families need just as much support as they do.
Being diagnosed with cancer can be extremely anxiety producing
for a patient. They've never had cancer before. It's important
that we're there as a support for the patient. Also, patients
come to us, not only as a patient but a person. And these
patients have a history and they like to tell their history.
And as the Cancer Center staff, we all need to be aware of that
history and listen to our patients.
I have many roles as a nurse coordinator. I work closely with
the journey coordinator to ensure that the patient's entry into
the system is as seamless as possible. I'm also a resource for
my patients. I'm there to answer questions, provide support, be
there for both the patient and the family. I facilitate
communication among the physicians, the nurses and all the
staff involved in the care of the patient. Our goal is that the
outcomes will be improved through optimal coordination of care
based on scientific evidence.
My role with the Cancer Center team begins when the patient
enters the system, and we look at their diagnosis, what our
treatment guidelines are. That determines where the patient
needs to go, what physicians, what experts they need to see.
From there, there's ongoing discussions with the physicians as
to the best possible treatment for that patient based on the
At Froedtert & The Medical College, we all work as a team,
it's very collegial. The physicians look to the nurses, the
nurses look to the physicians. We're always looking out for
what is best for the patient.
There are multiple teams within the Clinical Cancer Center. In
fact, there are 13 of them, each with a specific cancer focus.
Having a focus on one specific cancer, one specific group of
cancers, makes us experts in that field. We’re able to provide
them with the state-of-the-art care.
Cancer today, patients have many treatment options and have
access to many different experts to treat their cancer.
Patients, however, don't know who are those experts that they
need to see. By providing a clinical coordinator nurse and a
journey coordinator, we can look at the patient's diagnosis and
individualize the physicians that they see so they are provided
with expert care.
My role as a clinical coordinator on the patient's cancer
journey is important because I provide consistency for that
patient. I'm one of those first persons that they meet along
their journey; and as they’re going through their cancer
journey, they know that they can call me as a resource, as a
What sustains me throughout dealing with cancer patients is
knowing that I've done the best I can for them, and that at
the end of the day I can say I did my best and I’ve helped them
either answer questions, gotten them to the appropriate
physician and they feel like someone cares.