In 2002, Tina Templeman began her career at CHOC as a bedside nurse on the oncology unit. While working with patients, Tina helped to create and implement the hospital’s online charting system. She was involved with teaching the charting system to new CHOC employees and physicians through the Clinical Education Department.
In 2008, Tina took on her current position as the clinical research nurse coordinator for the Neuro-oncology Treatment Program. Tina works directly with the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) to find open protocols for new patients. Once an appropriate treatment is found for the patient based on his or her cancer, stage and other eligibility requirements, Tina maintains the patient’s treatment plan and schedules.
“When I was a bedside nurse, I was very task oriented. I did not always understand why one patient was treated according to a certain protocol and another patient with the same diagnosis was treated on another,” Tina said. “Being part of this research team, I now know why. I am now part of the ‘big picture’ of care and get to be part of the process of deciding which treatment is best for a patient.”
While Tina’s job has taken her away from working in the clinic or at the bedside every day, she still gets to work one-on-one with patients when collecting data or blood samples for COG studies.
“I love my job because I still get to work directly with patients but also have the opportunities to work hard behind the scenes and be part of treatment outcomes,” Tina said. “The children we treat have these starry innocent little eyes that just melt my heart. They deserve a team of people to work hard for them to help manage their disease. I am very proud to be part of the Neuro-oncology Treatment Program.”