Becoming a breast health clinical navigator is a rewarding and challenging career path that requires a variety of skills and knowledge. It is important to understand what the role entails and what qualifications and experience are necessary to become a breast health clinical navigator.
As a breast health clinical navigator, you will be responsible for providing support to patients and their families in their journey with breast cancer. You will be the patient’s point of contact throughout the process, helping them to understand their diagnosis, treatment options, and follow up care. You will also provide emotional support and advice to help the patient and their family cope with the challenges of the breast cancer journey.
Educational Requirements of a Breast Health Clinical Navigator
The first step in becoming a breast health clinical navigator is to obtain a relevant degree in a healthcare field. To be eligible to become a BHCN, you must provide proof of valid medical license as a Registered Nurses or medical imager/radiologic. Having a degree in a related field will give you the knowledge and skills required to be an effective and knowledgeable navigator. You will need to complete 1500 hours of breast care navigation practice prior to testing, and at least 8 hours of relevant focused educational courses in breast care, breast cancer, and/or breast navigation. You can develop your own study plan as there is no formal curriculum.
Develop Your Soft Skills
In addition to the educational requirements, you must have excellent interpersonal skills and be able to communicate effectively with patients, healthcare professionals, and other stakeholders. You have to be organized and able to manage multiple tasks simultaneously. It is important to be able ability to problem solve and think critically.
Developing these skills take practice. Set aside designate time to work on these soft skills. You can also utilize a variety of different resources to help you develop them, such as leadership classes, online videos, or by looking at your network and finding a mentor to help.
Finally, it is important to stay up to date with the latest developments in the field of breast health. You should attend conferences and seminars to stay informed of the latest developments in the field and take part in continuing education programs to stay up to date on the latest technologies and treatments.
Take Your First Step to Becoming a BHCN
With the right qualifications and experience, you can provide vital support to patients and their families in their journey with breast cancer. To learn more about becoming a BHCN, register for our Spring Mammography Mini Conference, where Michelle Keck, BSRT, RT(R)(M)(BS)(ARRT), BHCN talks about her experience becoming a Breast Health Clinical Navigator, and how you can become a part of this rewarding career.