Finding the Way
The Patient Navigator Volunteer Program
Volunteer Voice - Spring 2008
It doesn’t take a patient or visitor long to recognize that M. D. Anderson is a really big place. To help everyone find their way around the institution, a new “way finding system” was implemented in 1990.
The Patient Navigator Program was established as a complement to this system and volunteers in the program work to make a patient’s clinical and hospital experience more welcoming and comfortable.
Marilyn Flick is one of 13 volunteer navigators who guide patients through M. D. Anderson to their destinations.
Currently, the program has 13 volunteers, but additional volunteers are needed. An increased patient census and construction and expansion programs at M. D. Anderson result in even more confusion for patients and their families. Volunteer navigators are familiar with the location of the outpatient clinics and the diagnostic areas and can guide patients to their destinations.
In the program, patient navigators greet patients and family members in the Clark Clinic and Alkek lobbies and assess their needs. While leading them to their destination, they may visit the Anderson Network Hospitality Center, a special area for patients and families to relax while waiting for an appointment. They might also visit or learn about the Patient Family Center, which is another respite for patients and families between appointments. These volunteers serve as a resource and psychosocial support for patients. This personal escort service is unique — and important — in a large institution such as M. D. Anderson.
When patient navigators are busy, concierge and information desk volunteers and front door staff act as back-ups, providing way finding assistance and escorting patients and families to destinations when necessary.
During peak morning and noon-time shifts, two navigators are needed for each of two shifts: 7 – 11 a.m. and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. If you are interested in this customer service position, contact Catherine Caverly, 713-745-0268.