Pediatric and Congenital Heart Nurse Navigators

What Is a Nurse Navigator?

A Nurse Navigator builds personal relationships with patients and helps them navigate the health care system. Not just a caregiver, a Nurse Navigator is a confidant, educator, liaison, motivator, patient advocate and support system. After diagnosis and throughout treatment, a Nurse Navigator enhances the support that your physician provides, including: 

  • Guiding you through the medical process, acting as a liaison between all parties involved
  • Providing a single point of contact for physician offices, patients and families
  • Encouraging you to be actively involved in all aspects of diagnosis and treatment

Perinatal Nurse Navigator

The perinatal nurse Navigator works closely with patients and their families who are facing a high-risk pregnancy, including those whose baby is diagnosed with a fetal heart defect in the womb. As a vital part of our fetal cardiology team, the perinatal Navigator arranges appointments with specialists such as neonatologists, pediatric cardiologists and heart surgeons. The navigator is a consistent contact person for patients and their health care team, providing communication and coordination of care with all providers involved in caring for mothers and their babies. The Navigator also helps prepare patients for high-risk deliveries by giving tours of the units where the mother or baby may stay. The perinatal nurse Navigator is here to support patients and their families throughout the entire pregnancy, answering questions and providing patient education as needed. 

Cardiac Critical Care Nurse Navigator

Some infants with congenital heart defects will need cardiac critical care services immediately or shortly after birth. The cardiac critical care Nurse Navigator serves as a central point of contact for parents of those babies who stay in the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (PCICU). Based on a child’s diagnosis, the Navigator may meet with parents during the mother’s pregnancy to provide comprehensive information on our congenital heart program and ensure a seamless transition after birth to St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital PCICU. The Navigator can also provide tours of the PCICU during pregnancy. Once a child is admitted to the PCICU, the Navigator will visit with families during their stay, offering the appropriate resources and support. 
The Navigator can help coordinate the child’s discharge when they are ready to go home and remains in contact with parents of patients who have complex heart defects that require additional or on-going hospital care.

Congenital Heart Program Nurse Navigator

The Congenital Heart Program Nurse Navigator serves as a central point of contact for all congenital heart program services. The Congenital Heart Program Nurse Navigator may also meet with parents during the mother’s pregnancy and provide any necessary information on our congenital heart program. After birth, the Navigator will visit with families whose infant is in the NICU several times a week to offer support and resources as needed and will follow up with them frequently after they go home. Our Navigator’s goal is to collaborate with physicians, families and facilities to create a seamless transition from hospital admission to home.  

All three of our nurse Navigators collaborate to ensure comprehensive care and support across the program for our patients and their families.

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