Patient navigator has had passion for oncology since nursing school

Rhonda Walker, R.N., patient navigator with Norton Cancer Institute, has had a passion for working with patients with cancer since she attended nursing school.

“The changes and advancements I have seen in oncology care are astounding,” Rhonda said. “I continue to be excited for what the future holds for our patients.”

Rhonda has worked for Norton Healthcare for 26 years, and during that time, she’s worked in oncology in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She has been a patient navigator with Norton Cancer Institute for seven years.

“I feel a tremendous amount of compassion toward patients and their families,” Rhonda said. “Many of the patients we work with are scared, overwhelmed and sometimes in denial. Ongoing assessment of a patient’s current and ever-changing needs is important to understanding how to provide the assistance they require.”

Rhonda’s favorite moments as a patient navigator are the celebrations, whether they’re celebrating the end of treatment for a patient or a cancer-free scan. According to Rhonda, Norton Cancer Institute makes a big deal of these celebrations, with musical instruments, songs and confetti.

“Being a patient navigator allows me to make personal connections with patients and their caregivers,” Rhonda said. “I get to make a difference in someone’s day, and I know that no matter what is going on in my life, it’s nothing compared to what others are going through. I feel that working in oncology teaches me to appreciate all the blessings in my life and not take life for granted.”

Rhonda has been touched by cancer, experiencing the disease through her father, grandmother, and many aunts and uncles. Those experiences helped her know she was in the right place.

“Cancer is a difficult journey, and it is my true belief that Norton Cancer Institute provides the care and treatment our patients deserve,” Rhonda said.

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