Patient navigation is an emerging allied health role desired by an increasing numbers of hospitals and community health providers. Patient navigators bridge together medically underserved communities to community health services. Patient navigators serve a variety of functions that:
- Bridge linguistic, cultural and informational gaps between local healthcare providers and the communities they serve,
- Assist linguistically isolated and otherwise underserved patients with appointment scheduling and follow-through, and
- Enhance medical visits by providing health education and treatment guidelines to patients in lay, culturally-appropriate terms and concepts.
The Skyline College 1-year certificate program in patient navigation will train students in medical, health education, computer and cross-cultural communication skills while introducing them to college life. During the Spring semester, students will have the opportunity to participate in a 60-hour internship at a community health provider to experience first-hand the working environment for patient navigators.
After completing the certificate, students may be qualified to work as patient navigators, or continue their studies in Medical Assisting or general education.