COOKEVILLE – Lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer for both men and women in the United States – and the Upper Cumberland is no exception. To help patients diagnosed with lung cancer, Cookeville Regional Medical Center now provides the services of a nurse navigator, a personal resource for both the patient and their family.
Beth Slatten, R.N., has eight years’ experience working with oncology patients. She graduated with her nursing degree in 1997 and came to CRMC in 2001 to work in the intensive care unit. She transitioned to the Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center where she spent four years before going to work in the Cancer Center.
“A diagnosis of lung cancer can be overwhelming,” Slatten said. “In my new role I’m available to help patients who have been recently diagnosed, are already living with lung cancer or have had a recurrence of the disease. I want to help make their journey as easy as possible.”
A lung nurse navigator helps patients cope with the anxiety associated with lung cancer, decrease barriers to services, help to expedite access to care and provide information and resources available to help the patient and their family.
CRMC began its nurse navigator program eight years ago with breast cancer patients.
“The nurse navigator program has been so successful with our breast cancer patients,” Lisa Bagci, director of the Cancer Center, said. “It was a natural progression for us to expand the program to our lung cancer patients. Lung cancer is a complex disease with so many treatment options available and is often confusing for our patients. It just makes sense to have a navigator to help them and their families through the process.”
The Cancer Center at Cookeville Regional is accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer. The center offers medical and radiation oncology services as well as clinical trials research and various supportive services for cancer patients and their families.