It’s a life changing moment when a patient receives a cancer diagnosis. It’s a moment Veena Sharma, a nurse navigator with Lee Health, helps them through. “I’m there to help them and guide them through the difficult times. The majority of patients I see are very confused on where do I go from here? What options do I have? What are the resources available?”
Nurse navigators work with patients as soon as they receive the diagnosis, and connect them to the right emotional, medical, spiritual, and financial resources. “I look at the needs. It is a very confusing and scary time of their life and they depend on support,” said Sharma.
Because many of her lung cancer patients are former or current smokers, she also educates them on how smoking will affect their treatment. “We really don’t want any barriers to the treatment. They need a lot of education. Knowledge deficit is a big part and they come to me looking for answers on what the next step will be,” said Sharma.
She also helps patients manage their treatment side effects, maintain their weight, and connects them to support groups. “We try to find different resources so we can help them get through the treatment,” said Sharma.
Most importantly, nurse navigators help patients understand their diagnosis and supports them throughout their cancer journey any way they can. “Just talking to them and empowering them and just making them feel that someone is there,” said Sharma.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.