Sentara Family Medicine Provider Takes Time to Help People Understand
Cassandra A. McCray, NP-C
Sentara Family Medicine Physicians
Family Medicine, Nurse Practitioner
Cassandra McCray, NP, wants patients to understand, not just follow directions. "As a family practice provider, I spend a lot of time helping people understand not only 'what' a condition is but 'why' I'm recommending specific behavior changes."
McCray is a nurse practitioner with Sentara Family Medicine Physicians in Carrollton, Virginia, where she offers primary care to people of all ages. "It's not always easy for patients to absorb and digest medical information on the first pass," she says. "I treat them like family, explaining and reviewing complex health topics until they feel comfortable and informed."
Primary Care Services in Carrollton
Wellness and prevention top the list of topics McCray emphasizes with her patients.
"When I'm not working, you'll likely find me at the gym because I believe in the health benefits of exercise," says McCray. "I encourage patients to do the same. I tell them to take one step at a time because exercise will help them mentally and physically."
She encourages prevention-focused care including:
- Annual well visits to prevent illness and identify concerns early
- Pap tests
- Breast exams and mammograms
- Lung cancer screenings
"If someone has a strong history of smoking, low-density CT scans are on my radar to help catch lung cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage," says McCray.
Chronic Disease Management
"I take care of so many people who live with a chronic disease," says McCray. "With a little digging, I often find that stress is a trigger that makes their condition worse," says McCray.
She works with her patients on behavioral and lifestyle changes to address and manage chronic health concerns such as:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Cholesterol management
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
"I've also learned that discussing people's medications with them is time well spent," says McCray. "For example, I've encountered people who have used inhalers their entire life. I've realized they didn't understand one was a rescue inhaler while the other was a maintenance inhaler. If people misuse them, they won't see health benefits."
Delivering Timely, Personalized Care and Attention
McCray and the other providers in the practice care for patients from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. They set aside blocks of time each day to see people with time-sensitive injuries or illnesses such as a cold, flu or sore throat.
"I want people to feel like they've known me all their lives — like they've left from visiting an old friend," says McCray. "I take whatever time is needed for patients to have that 'aha' moment when they understand and connect their behaviors to their health."
McCray lives with her husband and three sons. She spends time volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and lectures about different health topics to her church community.
She completed her training at Hampton University and is board-certified by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. McCray is accepting new patients at Sentara Family Medicine Physicians, located at 20209 Sentara Way, Suite 200, Carrollton, Va. You can make an appointment by calling 757-542-2000.
Learn more about the important role nurse practitioners play in patient care.