Testing, biopsies, follow-ups, collaboration with specialty doctors, radiologists, breast surgeons, genetic counselors, treatment…a new reality with a breast cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. That’s why Botsford has a full time nurse navigator to help.
At the Botsford Cancer Center, a registered nurse is there for you from the time you need a breast biopsy to answer questions, advocate for you, coordinate your team of specialists and make sure you know where to be and when to be there. Her role is hard to define, but that’s because it’s almost whatever you need it to be.
What is a nurse navigator? A nurse navigator can be different things at different organizations. At Botsford, our nurse navigator is a registered nurse (RN) and is specially trained in all that is involved in caring for a breast cancer diagnosis.
What does a nurse navigator do? She is able to expedite appointments, explain treatments and procedures and keep track of all the specialists involved in breast cancer treatment. She helps patients navigate through mammograms, medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgery and other testing. A nurse navigator is an advocate who makes sure patients understand what happens next and that the treatment process goes smoothly.
Meet Penny, Botsford nurse navigator
Penny Widmaier, R.N., is an advocate for breast cancer patients. She is a familiar figure, one who is with her patients every step of the way. “I have seen how important it is to have support within the system for patients and their families,” Widmaier says. “I try to make their experience seamless and as easy as possible.”