What is a MediStays Care Navigator and how can you become one?
MediStays offers a comprehensive, Australia-wide accommodation booking service for health and medical travel. Our offerings are designed from a health background to support the needs of those who can benefit. This includes patients and participants of the NDIS, alongside their carers, families and professional referrers.
MediStays is committed to the provision of excellent customer service to all stakeholders – including patients and carers, healthcare referrers and accommodation suppliers. So, we have a specific team dedicated purely to supporting guests and referrers through the accommodation booking process. This wonderful team is made up of our Care Navigators.
And it’s our Care Navigators who are the jewels in the MediStays crown! It’s their support that takes our services to the next level. Here to help our community navigate their care, they step in wherever possible.
This can look like:
- Recommending the best accommodation options for each individual guest
- Providing verified accessibility reports
- Navigating funding and payment options
- Co-ordinating assistive equipment deliveries
- Acting as the central communication point for multidisciplinary teams
- Liaising with accommodation suppliers for alterations to dates during a stay
- Arranging meals and ancillary services
- Making sure friends and families have the support and care that they need too!
What we look for in a Care Navigator
Our Care Navigators are here to ensure our guests have the best experience possible. And they are the embodiment of MediStays’ values: caring, innovative, credible and informative.
MediStays doesn’t hire just anyone as a Care Navigator. We search for unique individuals motivated to make an energetic and passionate contribution. Our Care Navigators are driven by the opportunity to make a positive difference to people on a health journey.
MediStays’ co-founder and Managing Director, Sarah Everitt, is a healthcare professional (BMedRad, PhD) specialising in radiation therapy and clinical research. She has built MediStays from a background of working with people on a health and medical journey.
Therefore, she ensures that all MediStays Care Navigators receive extensive training, education and guidance in understanding Australia’s health and medical services. This includes the needs of rural patients, participants of the NDIS, all aspects of medical travel and the available funding frameworks.
The result? A team of Care Navigators who have deep insights into the accommodation needs of MediStays’ customers. This spans across those with serious medical illnesses, and new or lifelong disabilities.
Without their contribution to our services, we wouldn’t be able to uphold the level of quality care that we do.
Introducing some of our Care Navigators …
Meet Our Care Navigator, Noele:
MediStays is delighted to introduce you to Noele, one of our wonderful Care Navigators. Noele joined the MediStays Care Navigator team during 2021 after meeting our Managing Director Sarah.
Sarah says that:
“Noele is an incredible woman, with a rich background and life experience. Driven by her values, she provides outstanding support. This includes exceptional service for patients, carers and our referrers”.
Before the COVID pandemic, Noele operated her own successful travel company. So she brings with her an extensive travel background. Which also includes a deep understanding of the accommodation industry.
Noele incorporates this skillset as part of her Care Navigator role. She develops important professional relationships with our property partners. This credibility helps us achieve positive outcomes for guests.
Noele’s service integrates tourism expertise, health and disability training, and her personal experiences. The impact of this? Bringing the ideal blend of passion, knowledge, empathy and kindness to the role. This is exactly what makes our MediStays Care Navigators so important.
“We are a very experienced team. Not only with professional expertise in the accommodation, health, and disability sectors. But, also some lived experience. From this lived experience, we have a better understanding of the people we support. We then gain greater insight into their needs and concerns.”
You can learn more about Noele and the health accommodation service she provides in this blog post.
Meet our Lead Care Navigator, Melissa:
With a background working in the accommodation sector, Melissa brings years of experience to this role.
“I’ve always been passionate and loved working in the accommodation industry. Working at MediStays allows me to blend my personal experiences with my career. I’m spending my time working on helping people with something that’s so important to them. That definitely motivates me to do great work”.
Since joining the MediStays team in early 2021, Melissa has embraced the opportunity to engage in ongoing training in disability, healthcare, and the specific needs of our community.
Melissa utilises a specialist skillset to manage complex bookings, including hospital discharge accommodation for participants of the NDIS. Melissa understands the unique accommodation requirements and funding of each participant and support team. She then aligns this information with the best accommodation to meet each participant’s individual needs.
Melissa doesn’t just have a background in the accommodation sector – she also knows from personal experience the struggle of finding the right accommodation for a loved one. This understanding inspires her approach as an informative and pragmatic Care Navigator.
“Melissa is passionate and determined to get the best outcome for every participant she serves. She achieves this through her commitment to understanding the needs of each participant’s unique situation, and aligning these needs with the MediStays service”.
You can learn more about Melissa and the NDIS accommodation service she provides in this blog post.
How can MediStays’ Care Navigators help?
Our Care Navigators are here to support people on a health journey. Caring and professional, they take into account the stressful and uncertain nature of health and medical travel.
Their core commitment is supporting referrers, medical travellers, participants of the NDIS and key supporters to navigate and book accommodation best for their unique situation. What may be a relatively simple task during daily life, can become an additional burden during challenging times.
Care Navigators also integrate with the fantastic work of care networks.
“We provide not only accommodation expertise, but reassurance and guidance. This could be directly to the patient, their social worker or nurse. Or, in the case of the NDIS, to the participant and their Support Coordinator.
They can rely on us to make all arrangements in a professional manner, with very high levels of attention to detail.”
– Noele (MediStays’ Care Navigator)
Their can directly assist guests, supporters and referrers by:
➥ Making a booking and providing peace of mind to someone at a difficult time in their lives
Our Care Navigators strive to assist guests to choose what is suitable:
“This can be in terms of the location, the budget and general living arrangements, and providing information about accommodation/transport subsidies.”
– Noele (MediStays’ Care Navigator)
➥ Booking accommodation for a family member staying near the hospital and making this challenging time a little easier for them and their family
MediStays Care Navigators go above and beyond, providing additional support to guests such as informing them of financial assistance and ancillary services, including meal deliveries.
Our Care Navigators often offer personal insights into what is nearby:
“Let’s imagine a guest staying on St Kilda Road for treatment at the Alfred Hospital. I might update them on what public transport is nearby and how to walk there. I may also let them know how their spouse could spend time during the day, such as a walk at the lake or shopping in town.”
– Noele (MediStays’ Care Navigator)
A day in the life of a MediStays’ Care Navigator
The key point of difference in the MediStays model is its medical background. The same is true for our Care Navigators.
Of course they take care of accommodation and practical aspects of travel. But in doing so, everything is informed from the health care perspective of guests’ individualised treatment journeys.
Care Navigator Noele adds that:
“Often guests are concerned about having to reduce or extend their stay. We let them know that it is not a problem and something we can do easily for them. This especially applies if the guest is unwell, meaning their partner has to change the arrangements. Often elderly people are concerned with technology. So, we reassure guests and their spouses that they can just call us and we will make all of the arrangements for them.”
Driven to Care: Why Our Care Navigators Go the Extra Mile
MediStays strives to foster an environment where our staff can make a positive difference to health travellers through their role.
While our team are extremely hard-working and focused, we are constantly rewarded by the work we do and humbled by the positive difference we make.
What motivates and inspires Noele in her work as a Care Navigator?
“We do make a difference with every person we come into contact with. In general people who require the services of Medistays are in some way vulnerable and often anxious for many reasons, including illness, an unexpected life situation, or ongoing incapacity”, says Noele.
It’s often the little things in life that make the biggest difference. Here are some of the ‘little things’ Noele does for guests and supporters that tend to have a big impact:
“I listen to them. Guests are often anxious due to medical appointments on the horizon. I reassure them that we can make all of the arrangements on their behalf, that they do not have to worry. They can instead focus on the other issues they are dealing with. I think the main thing is to listen, act and reassure. To take the pressure off guests”, says Noele.
Here at MediStays, our incredible Care Navigator team are crucial to our support of guests during a health or medical journey. And we are always looking for more compassionate and motivated individuals to join our Care Navigator team. We hire a diverse range of people across a spectrum of professional and personal experience. Whatever the background, we look for those who want to make a difference in the lives of people at the time when they need it most.
MediStays supports all of our team members with flexible working options, innovative technology and approaches to our offering, and a rewarding community to serve.