What to expect regarding a chemotherapy appointment
Blood tests are typically required before chemotherapy can be given. It generally takes 30 – 45 minutes for the results to be posted for review by your physician and/or the medical team. To avoid delays, many patients prefer to have their blood tests drawn before the visit with the physician or even have them drawn the day before.
Once your exam/consultation is complete and you have checked out with the front-desk staff you will be directed to one of our Oncology Infusion Units: 5 North and Ground Bles.
When you arrive at the Infusion Unit, check in at the reception desk. The reception staff will notify the infusion nurse of your arrival. The chemotherapy is not prepared by pharmacy until all lab work and verification is performed. This may delay the start of your treatment but it is an essential step to ensure your safety.
During this time the medical technician will escort you to the triage room where your vital signs will be obtained. You will then be escorted to an infusion chair or bed where your nurse will introduce herself, review chemotherapy protocol, and obtain intravenous access. A question and answer session will be done to review any new or pertinent information that you may have to offer to the nurse before an IV access is established.
Typically chemotherapy infusion begins with pre-medications to prevent nausea and other side effects. Pre or post hydration may be required by your protocol. This may add an additional 1 – 4 hours to your chemotherapy visit.
Once your chemotherapy infusion is complete vital signs will be taken and assessment made regarding your stability to depart. You will then stop at the Infusion front-desk to schedule your next chemotherapy visit if necessary.
Note: Appointments for infusions are not the same as physician appointments and must be made separately.