Christine Bond, RN, BS, OCN, is a nurse navigator at Gordon Hospital’s Harris Radiation Therapy Center in Calhoun, Ga. She has served as a nurse navigator since 2013, and previously served as an oncology nurse for 18 years. Bond was recently awarded with Gordon Hospital’s “Extra Mile Award.” The award, created by members of the hospital’s employee engagement committee, recognizes employees who “go above and beyond the call of duty on a regular basis.”
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Q: What do you like best about your job?
Christine Bond: As a nurse navigator, I love having the opportunity to connect with the patient and family to assist with needed services throughout their healthcare journey. This connection is perhaps the most rewarding part of my work in healthcare.
Q: What value do you think nurse navigation provides?
CB: As a nurse navigator, I am the bridge between healthcare services and the patient. I provide information and education to the patient in addition to tracking imaging results and scheduling appointments.
When a patient is scheduled for a biopsy, I assist the physician with the procedure and continue working with the patient to provide support and navigate next steps if treatment is needed. I have the opportunity to follow patients during hospitalization after breast surgery.
When a patient requires further oncology care, I am able to assist with scheduling appointments and providing ongoing education and support. It is my role to ensure patients are getting the care they need in a timely fashion and that they are following up on the care that has been ordered by their physician.
Q: What would you say to an organization that is contemplating whether to implement a nurse navigation program?
CB: Having an illness can be very overwhelming for the patient when there are multiple appointments and multiple providers involved in care. Nurse navigation is an important element in good care to support the patient during a difficult time in their experience.
Patients come to us from many walks of life, and some have barriers that can be a challenge. As a nurse navigator, I have the opportunity to assess possible barriers (e.g., language, financial, educational, emotional, spiritual, and cultural) and provide the assistance that a patient may need to ensure the best possible outcome.
Q: What do you hope for as the future for nurse navigation in the United States?
CB: In the near future, I hope to see more nurse navigators in hospitals and clinics, providing care using a holistic approach. As there is greater connectivity and continuity of care between providers, outcomes will be better for our patients. Through nurse navigation, we have a wonderful opportunity to touch patients in a personal and compassionate way.