Outpatient Chemotherapy Process

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Outpatient Chemotherapy Process

To prepare for your first outpatient chemotherapy visit, eat a light meal before you come. When you start chemotherapy, arrange for someone to drive you home. You should stay close to home for a day or two afterward until you see how the chemotherapy affects you. The nurse who administers your treatment can advise you.

Outpatient chemotherapy is a process with several steps.

  1. First, you may visit your doctor before receiving your treatment that day. If you don’t have a doctor’s visit scheduled, go directly to the Infusion Room.
  2. At the Infusion Room waiting area, show your blue card to the receptionist. In most cases, the patient then has blood drawn in the outpatient laboratory. Your blood test is used to determine whether you may get chemotherapy that day, so you must wait for the lab results before starting your treatment. Processing your blood tests takes 60 minutes from the time your blood is drawn.
  3. Once your blood work is processed, your clinical care team reviews the results. They determine your chemotherapy treatment and send the order to the pharmacy. (If your blood counts are not within the accepted range, your doctor will decide whether it is safe for you to have treatment as planned or return at a later date.)
  4. Pharmacy processing takes about 60 minutes. During this time, feel free to go to the snack bar or walk around the grounds. For your convenience, you may request a beeper. The nurse will page you to return to the Infusion Area when your chemotherapy treatment is ready.
  5. After your drugs are prepared, the nurse will call you into the Infusion Room for treatment. The nurse will talk to you about your chemotherapy, find out how you are feeling and continue to monitor you during treatment. If you have any questions or concerns or begin to feel uncomfortable, let your nurse know right away.