Holy Rosary Nurse Patient Navigator Helps Guide Patients
Miles City, MT - After working as a nurse for 15 years, becoming a cancer patient nurse navigator at Holy Rosary Healthcare was a calling for Jenille Brugger.
“I am a huge advocate for our patients,” she shared. “This new position allows me to spend more time getting to know our patients and where they are coming from. I get to understand their needs and how we can better care for them.”
“My goal is to make sure they understand their diagnosis and treatment options in order to help each patient make the best decision for themself.”
Holy Rosary created the nurse navigator position in June 2021 because research has shown that these programs lead to improved engagement with patients and improved quality and safety outcomes.
“Research shows that nurse navigation programs are associated with shorter time frames between cancer diagnosis and start of treatment, increased patient and caregiver knowledge, and improved quality of life,” said Janice Dent, RN, Director of Oncology, Hospice and Palliative Care, Holy Rosary Healthcare.
For women diagnosed with breast cancer, Brugger believes her role is very important in supporting them from the initial diagnosis through treatment.
“Learning you have breast cancer is overwhelming and making decisions about what to do next can be scary,” she said. “For some women, they may feel like they are losing their dignity. I feel honored to sit and listen to their concerns and offer the support needed to get them through tough times.”
Holy Rosary Healthcare is able to provide a wide scope of services and treatments for women and breast cancer patients, from initial screening mammograms and surgery to chemotherapy. There are some cases where patients may need to travel for additional treatments. As the patient navigator, Brugger also helps to coordinate that care as well. Through partnerships with non-profit organizations, she is able to provide financial support for travel and housing when a patient may need to travel to a different facility for care.
“It was so helpful to have Jenille as my nurse navigator throughout my breast cancer journey,” said Cheryl Ford. “She was such a sweetheart and always helped me get the answers to my questions even when they were difficult. Knowing she was on my team meant a lot to me.”
Brugger says her role goes beyond just discussing the medical side of the treatment and care. She also connects patients to resources to help with financial concerns as well as emotional and mental health resources.
Although she is new to the role, it has provided Brugger with a renewed sense of passion for her work.
“It's very exciting to have this position, “ she said. “We have an outstanding team and I really enjoy working closely with them to provide the best care to the patients in our community.”
SCL Health is a faith-based, nonprofit healthcare organization dedicated to improving the health of the people and communities we serve. Founded by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth in 1864, our health network provides comprehensive, coordinated care through eight hospitals, more than 180 physician clinics, home health, hospice, mental health, and safety-net services in Colorado and the Montana Wyoming region.