Infusion Services

Infusion Services

The Cancer Center of East Alabama provides infusion services to care for patients with cancer and other chronic conditions that require intravenous treatments, injections, and blood transfusions. The staff includes a dedicated team of registered nurses and certified oncology nurses who work collaboratively with patients, families, physicians and support staff to provide treatments and procedures in a caring, respectful and compassionate manner. Our highly trained infusion nurses are experienced in infusion services, certified in chemotherapy administration and available to provide information and answer questions. Because the infusion room is located within the Cancer Center, infusion patients have immediate access to an oncologist, if needed.

Each patient receives individualized education regarding his/her treatment, possible side effects and adverse reactions, and expected outcomes. The registered nurse monitors the patient throughout treatment. Upon completion of therapy, patients are provided discharge instructions and a follow-up appointment as indicated. The patient may also receive a referral to an oncology social worker or dietitian if needed. The social worker assesses the patient and plans interventions related to patient and family needs and behaviors. The dietitian performs a comprehensive nutritional assessment and provides education and some nutritional supplements as ordered by the patient’s physician.

An on-site pharmacist provides consultative services to physicians and nurses. Due to the complexity of the medications protocols used, the pharmacist helps to ensure the proper utilization of these medications and the management of any complications secondary to therapy.

Cancer Center infusion services include

The Infusion Center is equipped with 20 comfortable recliners, multiple triple infusion pumps, and a small number of ambulatory pumps in a communal area. We provide portable DVD players and a DVD library, and offer free wireless internet access to make passing the time more enjoyable while you are receiving treatment. Patients may also bring their personal laptops, DVDs and CD or MP3 players.

Frequently Asked Questions About Infusion

Upon your arrival at the Infusion Center, a nurse or multi-care tech (MCT) will weigh you and check your vital signs. You will be assigned to a recliner or a comfortable chair. The nurse will then access your portacath or initiate an IV. Your blood will be collected at that time for the lab if it has not been drawn previously.

While you wait for your lab results, you may have a scheduled visit with your oncologist, you may visit the oncology library, or you may remain in the treatment area. Generally, lab results are received in 35 minutes or less.

For patients receiving chemotherapy, the pharmacy will only mix your medication once lab results are received. The length of this process varies by medication and by your treatment regimen. However, this process may take up to an hour. In the meantime, the nurse may initiate required intravenous fluids and pre-medications to control side effects.
Each chemotherapy medicine can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 3 hours to administer. Chemotherapy regimens may include anywhere from 1 to 4 different medications.
You may bring one guest with you into the Infusion Center. For the safety of our patients, we do not allow visitors who are ill or who have cold symptoms, or children age 12 and under.
Please try to eat a light meal before your treatment. A complimentary lunch and light snacks are provided for patients. You are welcome to bring your own snacks or meal.
Each treatment bay is equipped with a recliner for the patient and an upright chair for a guest. Televisions are conveniently located at various positions in the Center. Cell phones are allowed, as are music players as long as you use headphones. Wireless internet access is available. Warmed blankets are provided, though you may want to bring your own pillow. We recommend that you dress comfortably and in layers. Many patients bring books, needlework, crossword puzzles, etc. to help pass the time. Restrooms for patients are located in the Center. We ask that visitors/guests use the restrooms located in the waiting area.
While you are receiving treatment, a registered nurse will monitor you for any side effects or unanticipated reactions. A nurse call button will be within your reach at all times. Ask your nurse any questions you may have about your treatment, nutrition, side effects, or any other concerns you may have.