The value of staff development and continuing professional development for support staff (medical assistants, front desk staff, and new patient coordinators) in the oncology setting is often overlooked.
It was sometime last year when I was contacted by a woman who had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Her name was Barb. She lived in a small mountain town in Pennsylvania. She contacted me on the recommendation and encouragement of her daughter, who had done some research on the breast navigator role at the University of Pennsylvania (UPENN). That happens to be my role at the Abramson Cancer Center at UPENN. Barb and her daughter knew they wanted to come to the city after this diagnosis. That initial phone call and contact took great courage. As Barb has shared with me, she was scared. We know it is human instinct to fear for your survival.