St. Catherine Associate Earns Breast Navigator Certification

(GARDEN CITY, KAS.)Lisa Beggs, registered nurse at St. Catherine Hospital (SCH) Breast Center, realizes a breast cancer diagnosis can lead to anxiety, frustration and confusion. She also is aware that finding new avenues to furthering her education allows her to be even more effective in caring for her patients. The result is Beggs' recent certification as a breast patient navigator.

"This certification validates that I have the skills and education to help patients through their journey," Beggs said. "They can be assured that I, and others on our Breast Center staff, are up-to-date on all standards. "The certification also demonstrates my dedication to patients and their families," Beggs added. "I am with the patient from the beginning - from their first surgical consult on through treatment and follow-up care."

Beggs emphasized that she sets up all appointments for visits to oncologists and other physicians, lab work and imaging services. "We understand that the amount of information can be overwhelming," she said. "One of our goals is to ease our patient's burden in any way we can."

The National Consortium of Breast Centers notified Beggs that she earned a high score on the examination for certification. "Your choice to participate ... shows your personal and professional commitment to providing quality care for your patients," the letter to Beggs reads, in part. The examinations cover knowledge the participants have gained through licensures or certifications, career experience and self-study to efficiently and effectively navigate breast care/cancer patients.

The consortium notes that certification assures the navigator has a high level of competence, including improved quality, safety and accuracy; expanded knowledge about treatment options; and more empowerment to make decisions.

To prepare for the examinations, Beggs refreshed herself on information received during her medical professional training; reviewed the stages in the breast patient's continuum of care, and tasks associated with each stage; gained continued comprehension of the American College of Radiology (ACR) guidelines relating to breast care and reviewed the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines relating to breast screening.

Beggs credits the progressive attitude at SCH for making the idea of a Breast Center into a reality. "St. Catherine is a wonderful asset to this community," she commented. "If it wasn't for the willingness to establish the Breast Center, patients would have to travel for hours to obtain the quality of care they deserve. "Western Kansans have access to the same high-quality care right here close to home," she added.

"All of St. Catherine is proud of Lisa for the dedication and hard work she has put in to attain this substantial certification," said St. Catherine Hospital President and CEO, Scott Taylor. "She is a compassionate and dedicated nurse," he continued.

Beggs has served patients at SCH for almost 11 years, including five years as a surgical nurse, and another five as a nurse and patient care coordinator in the intensive care unit. In both positions, she was a preceptor to new staff members.

The Breast Patient Navigator Certification is a lifelong certification and does require annual renewals.

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About St. Catherine Hospital
As a 132 bed Joint Commission accredited regional health care center in southwest Kansas, St. Catherine Hospital is ahead of the curve in health care technology and innovations. The growing, active medical staff includes full time Hospitalists, as well as specialist services in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Critical Care, Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Occupational and Aviation Medicine, Otolaryngology, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Audiology, Pathology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Nephrology, Radiology, General Surgery, and Urology. Exceptional care, extraordinary people...it's what makes the St. Catherine Hospital difference. For more information, visit St. Catherine Hospital website.

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