• Getting to know your hospital staff: How nurse navigators differ from primary care nurses

    When you are admitted to the hospital, a multidisciplinary care team will be involved in your treatment. Hospitals rely on a variety of providers to ensure that every patient gets the personalized care they need and that patients have access not just to treatments for their acute problems but also to support when navigating recovery, paying for care and making treatment decisions. Two members of a typical hospital staff that you may encounter are nurse navigators and primary care nurses. Here is what you need to know about how they differ and the roles they play in your care.

    Nurse navigators

    If you are undergoing treatment for a chronic condition, then you may be assigned a navigator for your care. The nurse navigator will help you understand the roles of other people involved in your care and assist you in finding resources to make managing your care easier. A nurse navigator may do everything from acting as a spokesperson for the patient’s family with a physician to helping a patient get an appointment with a nutritionist if he or she is struggling with eating properly. As Cathy Cole, RN of Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center, explains in this video , nurse navigators are also instrumental in providing emotional support to patients and their families.

    Primary care nurses

    Primary care nurses are directly involved in patient care. They may administer medications, draw blood, place IVs and monitor vital signs. Primary care nurses are more hands-on with treatments than nurse navigators, but they do not coordinate other aspects of your care beyond the scope of their specialty. If you ask your nurse navigator for information about your care plan or your treatment progress, he or she may consult your primary care nurse.

    The staff at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center shares a singular commitment: to ensure every patient receives advanced, comprehensive care with compassion. You can learn more about the services of our hospital in Thousand Oaks or get a referral to one of our specialists by calling (877) 888-5746.