Learn More About The 24-hour Chemotherapy Infusion Center At Southwestern: Chat with Us | Email Us
At CTCA at Southwestern Regional Medical Center, we provide customized, cancer chemotherapy in our convenient Infusion Center, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Located on the second floor of the hospital, the Infusion Center is also the place where patients go for urgent care needs.
Gloria Barnes, Director of the Infusion Center, has been with CTCA for 21 years. She leads a team of 45. All of the nurses that attend to patients in this area are certified to administer chemotherapy.
Administration of chemotherapy requires a multitude of safety checks. Here are just some of the checks we make:
- Verify the availability and completeness of chemotherapy orders
- Verify that the patient's laboratory values are within acceptable ranges to receive chemotherapy
- Recalculate the patient’s body surface area for an accurate height and weight calculation for dosing
- Ensure that the patient has received education on chemotherapy and that he or she consents to the therapy
While many infusion facilities run Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., our doors are always open. Patients’ chemotherapy treatments are scheduled, but they have the option to schedule the infusions at whatever time they like. For example, if you prefer to receive your chemo every Tuesday at midnight, that’s when we’ll schedule it.
For many patients, this flexibility allows them to work a full-time job and come in for chemo whenever it coordinates best with their schedule. Some people, for instance, may work four-day weeks and come in on Friday or Monday for their treatment. They’ll follow this cycle for the number of weeks of their treatment (the average seems to be two to six weeks).
Reduced Wait Times
Even though the Infusion Center averages 600 chemotherapy treatments a month—patient waiting is kept to a minimum. We do everything within our power to welcome you, get you seated in one of our 25 infusion stations and take your vitals within the first three to five minutes that you enter our area.
Barnes and her team run the Infusion Center like clockwork. Efficiency is optimized, yet our compassion and gentle nature are never sacrificed. Chances are, from the time we greet you and seat you, until we start to treat you, it will likely take 20 minutes or less.
Each day, the nurse responsible for synchronizing all of the schedules begins his or her day by reviewing schedules for patients who are to receive chemotherapy that day. This nurse also looks at the doctors’ schedules for that area.
In addition, he or she then coordinates with pharmacy staff members, who note which patients will be treated that day and can plan for chemo orders that need to be mixed. Pharmacists and certified pharmacy technicians subsequently mix the chemo treatments according to the time when patients are scheduled to receive their chemo.
That same nurse also ensures that everything is in order before the patient arrives, including: if the patient has the necessary lab work; if the doctor wants to put the patient on a new drug; and, if the patient has met with an education specialist.
Part of Your Care Team
The Infusion Center staff works closely with many members of your care team at CTCA at Southwestern Regional Medical Center. They help our radiation and medical oncologists to support patients with medications, fluids and blood products to keep them strong enough to continue treatment uninterrupted.
Our medical support clinic (part of the Infusion Center), which provides patients with fluids and blood, averages 800 patient visits a month.
Often times, you may also find our naturopathic clinicians or nutritionists meeting with patients as they receive their chemotherapy infusion. Not only is this a practical use of time, as patients sit and receive their cancer treatment, it’s all the more reflective of the integrative care that’s so unique to CTCA.