Table 2

Navigator Training Program

Training Activity



In-House Training

Cancer Health Disparities Overview

Patient, provider, practice and health system barriers to care

Program director

Research 101

Human subject protection, HIPAAa

Project coordinator

Standard Operating Procedures and Case Management

Project coordinator, PN supervisor

Orientation to Participating Health Care Settings

Visit practices; computer medical database training

Project coordinator, PN supervisor

Cancer 101

Physicians teach PN's basics of cancer diagnosis and treatment; shadowing MD's at patient office visits, colonoscopies; observing tumor board conference at cancer center; visit to pathology laboratory

Medical oncologist, surgical oncologist

Interpersonal Communication 101

"How to talk to your doctor",

"Patient empowerment", others

PN Supervisor; communications researcher; staff of non-profit agency

Computer Literacy

Email; Microsoft office; computerized calendars; internet searches for resources and patient care guidelines

Project coordinator, research assistants

Domestic Violence

Child protective services and domestic violence lectures

Department of Health and Human Services

Community Resources

Transportation, financial counseling, interpreter services, child care, social work

Social worker from cancer center

Motivational Interviewing

Self-determination and empowerment

Research assistant

End of Life Care

Transition from treatment to palliation

Hospice nurse

Personal Safety

Actions to minimize risk

Police department

The Health System

Review of government and private health insurances

PN supervisor

The Initial Assessment Interview

A semi-structured interview was designed, and PN's learned to conduct it, using the skills of "joining", history-taking, assessment of patient barriers, and making follow-up plans

PN supervisor

External Training

Cornell Empowering Families Project

New York State program for CHWs. Topics include: relationship and communication skills; cultural competence; working with low-literacy patients; needs assessment; empowerment; CHW self-care

The Cornell Project

Simulated Patient Training

Simulated patients, with video-taping and feedback

Local, private agency that provides standardized patients for medical training

NCI/ACSa Navigator Training Summit

4 day program with navigators from across the US

aHIPAA = Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act; NCI = National Cancer Institute; ACS = American Cancer Society

Hendren et al. BMC Cancer 2010 10:551   doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-551

Open Data