Patient Navigation at UNC

UNC Oncology Nurse Navigation

UNC Cancer Care offers Nurse Navigation services at the NC Cancer Hospital at no extra cost.  Nurse Navigators are trained to ensure that your journey before, during or after the cancer experience is as smooth as possible.  

Oncology Nurse Navigators at UNC Cancer Care provide support by: nurse navigation

  • Acting as the single point of contact for patients and caregivers in order to resolve barriers to care
  • When possible, accompany patients to initial appointments
  • Assessing patients’ physical, emotional, psychosocial, spiritual and financial needs
  • Initiating referrals to ensure patients are connected with community resources
  • Coordinating diagnostics, procedures and specialist appointments
  • Providing patient education
  • Collaborating with the oncology team
  • Assistance in arranging treatment closer to home when available

UNC Lay Patient Navigation

The volunteer lay navigation program works in tandem with the existing UNC hospital volunteer program.  Lay navigators are volunteers from the community who receive special training in order to provide emotional support as well as helping patients and caregivers identify non-clinical barriers to care. 

Working in tandem with the medical team, lay navigators address the various needs that are faced when facing a cancer diagnosis.  Lay navigators are integrated throughout the NC Cancer Hospital including all outpatient clinics as well as the inpatient unit.  Patient populations served include geriatric, adults, adolescents, young adults and pediatric-oncology patients.

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Based upon the individual needs of the patients and caregivers, lay navigators are trained to provide local and national resources for: 

  • Financial Assistance
  • Transportation
  • Parking
  • Survivorship Programs
  • Individual or Family Counseling and Support
  • Medical Team Communication
  • Household Assistance
  • Financial Scholarships
  • Fertility Preservation Guidance
  • Connection to Peer Support
  • Assistance returning to work or school
  • Emotional support
  • Accommodations/lodging when receiving cancer treatment and traveling from out of town

 Lay patient navigators do not provide medical care, medical advice, psychotherapy or interfere with the doctor/nurse/patient relationship.