Navigators help guide patients
At Adena, we provide nurse navigators to help cancer patients “navigate” through the complex and sometimes confusing journey of battling cancer. Navigators are trained to assist with every step of care – from scheduling appointments, arranging transportation, assisting with financial counseling or just answering questions. The Adena Cancer Center has four specialized patient navigators to assist, lung cancer, head and neck cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer patients.
Tammy McManus BSN, RN, OCN, lung cancer nurse navigator
Tammy has been a nurse for 33 years and with Adena Oncology Services for 28 of them. During her career, she has had the opportunity to serve in many different roles: manager, interim director, clinical trials nurse, and chemotherapy infusion nurse. She became the colorectal nurse navigator in 2010 and became the lung cancer nurse navigator in 2011. “The navigator position is unique because the field of oncology is always changing and patients can easily become confused or lost in the system,” McManus says. “I get to guide them through the entire process, from diagnosis to treatment, and provide emotional and spiritual support along the way.”
Q: Do I have to pay to use the nurse navigator?
A: No, our services are free to patients and we encourage not only patients to use us but also their families.
Q: How does a patient get assigned a nurse navigator?
A: When the patient receives a positive diagnosis, the nurse navigator steps in at that time. We will introduce ourselves and give you all of our contact information.
Q: How long will a patient be assigned their nurse navigator?
A: The nurse navigator will support the patient through the entire process – from diagnosis to treatment and beyond!
Q: What does a nurse navigator do?
A: The nurse navigator helps coordinate physician appointments, surgeries, follow-up care, and if genetic testing is ordered by a physician, the nurse navigator will coordinate that, too. They also can give patients information about cancer resources, such as the American Cancer Society.
In addition, the nurse navigator is trained to provide some additional help to patients who need it:
- Social Services– The nurse navigator can set up transportation, assist with financial counseling and help patients who do not have insurance get established with Medicaid.
- Dietary consult – Many lung cancer patients experience pain with swallowing once they begin treatment, so the nurse navigator will assist with making sure nutritional needs are met, which is crucial to the healing process.
- Support Groups - The nurse navigator also can refer patients to support groups for additional help to stop smoking.
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