Patient Gerri Accardi (R) consults with Corinne Coppinger, RN, WHNP, St. Anthony's breast cancer nurse navigator (L), and John Bechtel, MD, radiation oncologist (C).
Navigating the Choices
St. Anthony's nurse navigator helps you understand treatment options
Corinne Coppinger, RN, WHNP, is your best friend and educator when it comes to understanding the overwhelming flow of information in the days and weeks after a breast cancer diagnosis. As St. Anthony's breast cancer nurse navigator, Coppinger serves as a one-point contact for any questions you may have regarding your treatment options.
“I'm their mother, their spouse, a sister or friend who can sit beside them and listen to the doctors explain all the options and help them understand what they've been told,” says Coppinger. “Bringing a support person with you to each consultation is important, but as a nurse practitioner, I have the added benefit of being able to accurately translate what the doctors say so that women have a better understanding of their options.”
Coppinger says when women hear the words ‘breast cancer,' they don't tune into the rapid flow of information coming from their cancer specialist, surgeon, radiation oncologist and plastic surgeon, all of whom they may see within a week of diagnosis. Add to that the probability of several more medical tests and it's no wonder that the information flow is huge.
“I really serve as a translator, but I'm also there to focus their thoughts on next steps,” Coppinger says.
Sometimes she helps over the telephone. Other times, she sits quietly beside patients during physician visits, hearing information firsthand to better explain it later.
“If a patient has a question, I find the answer,” she says. “My role is to calm their fears of the unknown.”
For information, please call our Health Access Line at 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.
At St. Anthony's, our vision is to be the area's premier health care organization
— and your first choice for health care services.