Navigating Breast Health
/ Categories: WELLNESS, 2022

Navigating Breast Health

The role of the nurse navigator

The idea of having an abnormal mammogram can strike fear in the hearts of so many. When you add breast cancer to the mix, the anxiety can be overwhelming. That’s where I come in. I am the breast health nurse navigator at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. 

I am a nurse who works closely with patients’ doctors, imaging professionals, and others to help patients navigate the health system and get the care they need in a supportive and reassuring way. As one provider states the breast health nurse navigator “is the glue that keeps the pieces of care together.”

I help by: 

  • Promoting timely breast cancer screening for all. Remember to talk with your provider about your screening mammogram, and talk to your friends, so they remember to get theirs too. 
  • Assessing patients to identify patients at high physical, psychological, and social risk
  • Planning healthcare pathways with multidisciplinary care team
  • Coordinating care with other team members
  • Providing education and support for patients and families
  • Addressing patients’ unmet needs and enhancing patients’ satisfaction by responding to their most frequent request: information and support during illness/times of crisis
  • Providing professional guidance, coordination, execution, and evaluation of their breast healthcare treatment plans.
  •  Helping patients understand their breast imaging reports
  • Assisting with setting up follow up mammograms and other diagnostic services
  • Providing education on breast health and risk factors
  • Locating resources to meet patients’ needs
  • Guiding patients through the healthcare system
  • Making sure patients receive recommended follow-up care
  • Choosing social services with patients who need them

There are several benefits to working with me in coordinating your care.

  • Patients get better access to breast health services and information.
  • They have a better healthcare experience.
  • They get their appointments in a timely way and miss fewer appointments.
  • Their care is “smoother” and easier to manage.

I help coordinate breast health services, like:

  • Mammography
  • Breast ultrasound
  • Stereotactic and ultrasound-guided core biopsy
  • Fine-needle aspiration
  • Breast MRI
  • Surgical and medical consultants for immediate follow-up and treatment
  • Personalized treatment
  • Education and screening

Having an expert on hand to direct care in all of these largely unfamiliar ways is so comforting and reassuring to patients. For more information and to connect with me on a breast health questions, please call 802-440-4244. 

Seline Skoug, RN, is the breast health nurse navigator at the Breast Health and Imaging Center at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care, in Bennington.


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