Although it may be summer, which is known for being a time that employees take vacations, we all know that there is no vacation for our patients who have been diagnosed and are undergoing treatment for their cancer. Other than those patients with metastatic disease who might be able to take a “drug holiday”—better known as a break from the toxic drugs for a period of time while their cancer seems to be a bit more stable—in general, cancer is with us during every season. Patients rely on their navigators no matter what the season, upcoming holiday, or your personal vacation plans, so thank you for being so committed to providing quality navigation to your patients so consistently, and with such compassion.
This issue of JONS offers several special features. You will learn a new term called “boundary spanning” in an article from Pennsylvania State University. You will also learn about the work being done in Appalachia as it relates to ensuring that the navigator skills and knowledge “match” the needs and available resources.
We are all familiar with making sure the right patient gets the right drug, at the right time, using the right method, and in the right setting. Well, we all need to bring to the attention of the leadership at our respective institutions the importance of doing something quite similar when it comes to navigation—identifying the skills, knowledge, and expertise needed of a navigator to carry out specific tasks and functions. There are tasks and functions that can be carried out very well by a lay navigator, but other tasks and functions require medical knowledge and expertise, which require nursing knowledge.
Also in this issue is the next installment of the resources being provided by another pharmaceutical company that I have summarized for you; for this issue, I chose Merck Pharmaceuticals.
We are very busy planning for our 4th Annual AONN Conference. It is marvelous to see how many of you have already registered to attend. I am personally looking forward to seeing familiar faces as well as new faces in November in Memphis. The networking opportunities are truly boundless, and the knowledge you will gain from the speakers we have lined up for you will be phenomenal.
With kind regards,
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS