Women’s Health Nurse Navigator – Teresa Dietsch

So, I became a nurse, a long time ago. And
I have an OB background, OB/GYN. And I loved working with moms and babies and bringing
new life into the world. And then I got into an education role. And that’s one thing I
really like about nursing, is being able to change what you do in the nursing role, without
changing your whole profession. So, I got into a more of an educator role. And then,
I was searching for something a little bit more meaningful for me. And I saw a Nurse
Navigator position posted. And so, I did some research on it and found out that a navigator
role is a role of a nurse who gets to educate patients and families, help support them through
a difficult time in their life. And particularly, working with women who have an abnormal breast
diagnosis. So, a typical day is full of surprises when
we get patients who get an abnormal diagnosis. So, they come in for a mammogram, for example.
And then, it’s recommended by the radiologist that they have some follow-up views done or
that they may need a biopsy. There may be a biopsy scheduled, so then I go in with that
patient. I get to support them, through the whole procedure. I’m able to go to their follow-up
appointment with the surgeon and that’s where the patient learns the diagnosis from the
pathology report. And I help make that whole process happen. And sometimes they don’t hear
anything else when the physician may say, “You have cancer.” They just kind of blank
out, they don’t hear anything else. So, part of my job is to be in the room, understand
the plan of care, what the next recommendation is. So, I’ll take notes and then follow-up
with patient, make sure they understand what was said in the room. So, it really is, when
they say “navigator”. It is navigating through the healthcare system. Because we know it
can be very complicated, from the minute they come in for something, until they leave. So,
I’m really there to help eliminate any barriers that people might incur during their experience.
Having a nurse navigator role for Sauk Prairie Hospital says a lot about the organization
and how much it cares about women’s health. And I’ve said this in meetings before. I said,
“I wish everybody could have the feedback that I get after I’ve met with someone.” I
get the hugs. I get the “thank you”s. I get the tears. And I get how much everybody appreciates,
not just me being there, but the whole team being there for them. And out of a bad experience,
that it’s been a good experience for them to have us all there.

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