Rutherford Hospital's Unique Cancer Navigator Program

M.A. Andrews

Rutherford Hospital's Unique Cancer Navigator Program

Cancer Resource Center is located at One Source Healthcare located at 2270 US Highway 74A, Suite 343 in Forest City.
   It's about two years old. It's a successful, caring and wonderful program for cancer patients. The Rutherford Hospital Cancer Care Patient Navigator Program involves a registered nurse who serves to provide individualized assistance to patients and their families to help them better understand their diagnosis treatment options and available support services. They sometimes are referred to as a "Cancer Coach".

   To most, being told that you have cancer can be a depressing and horrifying experience. It is a very fearful time for the patient. The idea of the Patient Navigator is to assist them, help them and let them know they are not alone in their fight for survival.

   We all are aware that medical terms may not always be easy to understand. Also, it is very difficult for an individual to remain comfortable during the trying times that cancer brings. Confidence and the will to survive as well as a positive commitment is a necessary attitude during treatment. When someone is told they have cancer, they, their families and friends all of a sudden have a million questions.

   The Patient Navigator is there to help, night and day.

   Each Patient Navigator is a registered nurse who offers the patient information and educational materials about the patients diagnosis and treatments. Connections with financial resources is also important. When you have to see a doctor, the Navigator is there, to assist in transportation, help you communicate with healthcare providers and make sure you get timely care.

    One of the Cancer Patient Navigators, RN Dee Allen states that: "It's my job to run interference for the patients, making certain that they understand their situation and helping them verbalize their concerns so they can make informed decisions. In other words I am their advocate." She speaks of Marion who has stage IV breast cancer that has spread to her lung and bones and has been in treatment for five years. This brave lady continues to work at her job with a local bank. She is not only an inspiration to her fellow co-workers but reaches out and counsels others facing difficult times. She is always ready to share her story of hope. She is one lady who is very grateful for Rutherford Hospital's Patient Navigator Program. Marion will emphatically state that: "I am living with - NOT dying from cancer!"

   One of the benefits of this programs is that both nurse and patient are recipients of inspirational benefits. They both give and receive.

   The program is definitely and answer to many patients prayers. All who are involved are to be congratulated and thanked for such an outstanding service. Aren't you glad that you live in Rutherford County and have a hospital which is so caring?