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A nurse navigator stands in portrait.
January 21, 2019

Introducing… a registered nurse navigator

Annette Bullen is a registered nurse navigator in the women’s clinic at McMaster University Medical Centre. With 30 years experience at Hamilton Health Sciences, she also worked in a medical surgical unit, the hematology/oncology unit and in labour and delivery. She also volunteers for the Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Canada, which connects her with doctors throughout Canada.

What do you do?

I specialize in advanced care for endometriosis—a disorder that involves the ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining your pelvis—and minimally invasive surgery.

This role enables me to provide comprehensive guidance for patients from the beginning of their care until they are discharged. I’m a liaison between patients and doctors, which means I coordinate an individualized approach for each patient. I’m grateful to advocate for patients and address their specific needs in their healthcare journey.

I specialize in advanced care for endometriosis and minimally invasive surgery.

What do you love most about your job?

I love my team and am very proud to be a part of it. Working with highly sought physicians who take great pride in keeping themselves at the highest standard is a privilege. They deliver exceptional care.

I have been described as an extension of each of the physicians and I embrace this level of respect and camaraderie. In this role, I cherish the opportunity to listen and act on our patients’ health care concerns.

Who inspires you?

I am inspired by both my grandmothers who are not with me anymore but remain in my everyday thoughts. They taught me about hard work, how to love family and friends, and how to be aware of the needs of the people around you.

I hope to continue to improve women’s health by facilitating and communicating the advancements in gynecological care.

Both of them remembered things that may seem insignificant to some but they knew how to help a person feel important, validated and comforted. I try to bring that mentality to my work every day. There are no patient concerns that are too small or too great.

What do you hope to accomplish while at HHS?

I hope to continue to improve women’s health by facilitating and communicating the advancements in gynecological care.

Each day is different and has new challenges, which I embrace. I like to contribute to new pathways for patients to explore.

Ultimately, I want to look back on my career and see that I gave someone a voice, clarity and comfort during a difficult time.

I love having the opportunity to help others and to be part of something bigger than me. Guiding a person who faces challenging situations is a privilege and seeing them through the process to meet their goal is a cherished component of this role.