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Nurse Navigator Tammy Allred


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Nurse Navigator Tammy Allred

December 6th, 2012 - by admin

http://blog.lungevity.org/2012/12/06/nu ... my-allred/

Tammy Allred knew the moment she began working with oncology patients that she had found her calling. The North Carolina native, originally from Chapel Hill, has been working in oncology for 29 years and loving it. Her official title is Sarcoma and Thoracic Oncology Nurse Navigator. She is one of two lung cancer nurse navigators at the UNC Cancer Center and she is the first person a patient sees.

Allred works to provide educational materials to help patients understand their disease. She supports and educates them during their treatments and helps them avoid all obstacles that they may face during their treatments. She facilitates their appointments and maintains contact to make sure they don’t get lost in the care continuum. She also makes referrals they may need to obtain medications and makes sure their insurance needs are met. If patients are not insured or have special needs, she makes sure they are referred appropriately to get the help they need.

We asked Allred what recommendations she would give to someone who’s just been diagnosed with lung cancer. Her reply: “Do NOT Google anything about lung cancer! There is too much inaccurate information out there. Go to a medical oncologist who is experienced in lung cancer. Get a second opinion if you do not feel comfortable with what you are hearing. Do not listen to old wives tales or compare your lung cancer to other types of cancers. All cancers are not treated the same. All cancers have different outcomes. To sum it up, be a self-advocate. Lung cancer has changed so much over the past several years and continues to change in a positive manner. There IS hope.”

There are also many misconceptions when it comes to lung cancer. We asked Allred what she thought the biggest misconceptions the public may have about lung cancer.

“The biggest misconceptions are that lung cancer is a smoker’s disease and that there is no hope if you are diagnosed. It IS NOT A SMOKERS DISEASE. Lung cancer can happen to anyone with lungs. And there IS hope. Things are changing every day to improve the quality of life for people with lung cancer and treatments are getting better. No one deserves lung cancer and patients should not be blamed or feel guilt for having lung cancer.”

Allred has worked in different aspects of nursing from the med/surg floor, giving chemotherapy, hospice, clinical trials, and now with lung cancer patients. She says she’s finally doing what she loves, combining all her experience in all these areas and navigating patients thru all the phases of their lung cancer experience.

She’s been working with the North Carolina LC Partnership for the past 5 years and loves doing outreach and education and raising awareness about lung cancer and correcting the misconceptions and stigmas about the disease. She also mentors new navigators and shows them how to find resources that will help their patients.

One thing is clear to us: Tammy Allred puts her patients first. She recently was nominated for Best Lung Cancer Healthcare Provider for the month of November on Facebook and won. LUNGevity is glad to honor and recognize her passion and dedication and care of those affected by lung cancer.

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