We’ll help guide you through your healthcare journey
What is a nurse navigator?
A nurse navigator is a medical professional with at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing who supports, guides, and advocates for patients during their journey from diagnosis through recovery and beyond.
You can think of a nurse navigator as a concierge – someone who provides personalized support for the unique needs of each patient. They can help with various aspects of your care, including:
- Scheduling appointments
- Providing trusted information about a diagnosis or treatment
- Getting connected with helpful resources
- Interpreting unclear medical language
- Offering emotional support
Nurse navigators are an important part of a larger network of providers and staff – physicians, physician assistants, nurses, receptionists – who orchestrate patient care.
Nurse navigators are common in cancer centers and are gradually becoming more popular for other types of specialized care as well. Raleigh Neurosurgical Center is proud to be one of the few neurosurgical clinics in the area to offer this service. Contact a nurse navigator.
Will I have a nurse navigator?
At Raleigh Neurosurgical Clinic, our nurse navigator works only with patients who have brain tumors or skull base tumors – conditions that are complex and often require multiple visits and a combination of treatment methods.
What can I expect?
The goal of a nurse navigator is to simplify the often-complicated healthcare process for you.
Your nurse navigator will be available to answer any questions you have about your care. This begins early – sometimes before you have even visited our office for the first time.
If possible, she will attend your appointments with you, which will help her stay updated on your status. At any point in your diagnostic or treatment process, she can answer questions that you have and consult with doctors, if needed, to get more information.
Your nurse navigator will work with you during the treatment process. If you choose to have surgery, she will assist you through those steps, including checking in on you when you are in the hospital and following up when you go home.
Additionally, your nurse navigator will continue to provide support during long-term follow-up care, which may include imaging, referrals to other specialists, and office visits.
What are the benefits to having a nurse navigator?
There are a number of advantages to having a nurse navigator, and the unique benefits depends on your specific needs. You may particularly appreciate:
- Emotional support from an experienced medical professional during an uncertain time
- Help understanding test results
- The ability to reach a person on the other end of the phone or by email – shorter timeframe for callback
- Getting your questions answered quickly
- Connection to services and resources
Meet your nurse navigator
Lori Radcliffe joined Raleigh Neurosurgical Clinic in early 2019 with more than 20 years as a medical professional working with Dr. Takanori Fukushima and specializing in lesions of the brain and skull base as well as in cranial nerve compressions.
She credits her work with Dr. Fukushima in helping her develop her high standards of patient care.
“When patients in Japan go into the hospital, they’re not in the hospital for just three or four days. They actually often keep them for up to a month,” she says. Her empathy comes from “that type of service melded with my own personal feeling that these people need care and assistance – psychological, physical, and so forth. I want to be there for them for that.”
Lori received her associate degree in nursing at Wake Technical Community College and her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Appalachian State University.
Before joining the team at Raleigh Neurosurgical Clinic, she was the practice manager of Carolina Neuroscience Institute. She also worked as a neuroscience nurse at WakeMed Health & Hospitals.
She enjoys the long-term relationships she has with patients – some of whom she has been in contact with for 20 years. Knowing her patients well means that she can provide an extra level of care.
“When people call in, I can tell by the sound of their voice if there’s something that’s not right. If I see a symptom that’s just not the way it should be, I can talk to a doctor about what I’m seeing.”
She is glad to offer people one-on-one support and proud to be accessible nearly 24/7. “I’m always going to be available for these for these patients,” she says.
If you have questions about our nurse navigator program or would like to speak to a nurse navigator, please contact us.