Nurse navigators are most often associated with oncology. But at Yale New Haven Hospital, they play a key role in helping stroke patients recover after treatment, according to West Hartford News.
Kaile Neuschatz and Kelsey Halbert, both RNs at Yale New Haven, are not members of the direct treatment team. But their job begins right when the patient arrives at the hospital, even if the diagnosis turns out not to be a stroke. After initial care is administered, they then work on developing a relationship with the patient:
We can continue educating them to discuss stroke and what their expected hospital course is going to be, especially for the first 24 hours. They will be seen by countless providers, so it’s nice to establish a familiar face.
That trust is one of the most important aspects of a navigator’s job. Yale New Haven Hospital is one of only two comprehensive stroke centers in Connecticut, so Neuschatz and Halbert have to be ready for the most complex patient needs. Every brain is different, which means that each case must be handled with care considering that stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death in the US.
The navigators at Yale New Haven coordinate each step of the patient’s journey. They establish connections with specialists and manage each patient’s rehabilitation and eventual discharge from the hospital. But care doesn’t stop there. Neuschatz and Halbert both help organize home care and even connect patients with stroke survivor support groups in the local community.
We have a large patient population that had strokes and a large population that are at risk for stroke, so it becomes very important to have a care team that provides the seamless transition of care from hospital to rehab facility to home to the stroke clinic so that they can be optimally cared for in the community.