We are thrilled to announce that Lynn Cole, RN, BSN, OCN, Thoracic Navigator at Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute, a Lung Cancer Alliance Screening Center of Excellence, was awarded the 2015 Oncology Certified Nurse of the Year! Not only is this a testament to the hard work Lynn and her screening center are doing, but also to the advancements and achievements we have accomplished as a community. Lynn facilitated and manages a program to provide lung cancer screening to those at high risk. Through her efforts, 91 patients have received screening.
We sat down with Lynn to learn a little more about her work.
What do you do as the Thoracic Navigator at Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute?
As a navigator I help with educating the patients and their families on any testing/procedures they may undergo and the process of navigating the medical system. I make sure they know the importance of national guidelines and how they relate to their disease. I strive to decrease time from diagnosis to treatment.
My mission revolves around awareness, education and removal of barriers. I strive to assure that each patient and family understands the process of diagnosing their cancer. When patients and families understand the process they become empowered to make informed decisions about their care. I try to be their biggest advocate for whatever decision they make; therapy or comfort care. Sometimes, I am just a shoulder to lean on or an ear to vent to.
Why do you do what you do?
I was inspired to become an oncology nurse by the nurses who took care of both my grandfathers as they underwent therapy for cancer. Those nurses do not know how much of an impact they had on me. They were compassionate to my grandfathers and to all the family.
What does receiving the award mean to you?
Receiving that award has meant a great deal to me. I still have a hard time believing that I won. Without the support of the leadership and my co-workers at Gibbs Cancer Center, I would not have won the award. They make my job possible. I really don’t believe that what I do is very special; it is what a good oncology nurse should do; educate, support and advocate. I believe that oncology nurses are called to our work; it’s not a job, it’s who we are. It’s who I am. I am a nurse 24/7/365. Just because I leave work, doesn’t mean I stop thinking about my patients.
To learn more about Lynn and her amazing work click here!
To learn more about your risk and whether screening is right for you or a loved one go here: www.atriskforlungcancer.org