Designed with your needs in mind, the Infusion Center at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) is a calming environment that inspires relaxation. If chemotherapy is part of your cancer treatment plan, you will receive your treatments in the Infusion Center at our hospital. Our staff and nurses assist with your care and help make you as comfortable as possible.
Infusion Center services
The Infusion Center provides services including:
- Pre-medications (e.g., anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory, diphendydramine, antiemetics)
- Chemotherapy medications
- General IV fluids
- Blood products
- Total parenteral nutrition (TPN)
- Pain medication
When you arrive at the Infusion Center for your first chemotherapy treatment, you’ll check in and an infusion nurse will give you a brief tour and bring you to an infusion bay. Our team will work to make you as comfortable as possible:
- Private chairs with your own television and chair for a caregiver are available.
- Rooms are sometimes available if you seek more privacy or need to rest during treatment.
- A patient care technician will take your vital signs and offer you a heated blanket, drinks or snack, and get you comfortable. You can also order meals through the hospital's Café that will be brought to your chairside.
- You can also access additional integrative services while in the Infusion Center. For instance, you may decide you would like to see your naturopathic oncology provider, dietitian or spiritual counselor. Scheduling appointments in the Infusion Center is a good way to use your time and may help you relax during treatment.
How is chemotherapy administered?
If you are receiving intravenous chemotherapy, the length of the infusion will depend on your specific treatment regimen, including the type and amount of drugs you are receiving. Your nurse will be able to relay that information to you during your first treatment. If your regimen changes, the timeframe may change as well.
An infusion nurse will do a short assessment upon your arrival. Depending on what your medical oncologist has prescribed, you will receive pre-medications to prevent reactions and help reduce side effects. After the pre-medications, your nurse will begin administering your chemotherapy.
If you need IV fluids or nutrition, this can be accomplished in the Infusion Center as well. IV fluids may last between four to eight hours. If nutritional fluids are initiated, including total parenteral nutrition (TPN), it is usually placed on a portable pump while at the center, then home health care is arranged for discharge to home.
Speed of care and safety protocols
Before each visit to the Infusion Center, you will have lab work done to make sure your blood counts are within an acceptable range to receive chemotherapy. With the hospital’s electronic health records (EHR) system, lab results are automatically delivered to the Infusion Center in real time.
The chemotherapy is prepared by the Infusion Center Pharmacy, which helps improve turnaround times for our patients. The Infusion Center abides by the Oncology Nursing Society guidelines for administering chemotherapy. Every nurse on the team has had appropriate training in handling chemotherapy agents. Your nurses will double check your arm band, your oncologist’s chemotherapy orders and any other important aspects of your care.
The Infusion Center team at Western
Led by Manager Kellie Stanger, the Infusion Center team at CTCA at Western Regional Medical Center (Western) consists of oncology-certified nurses and a nursing assistant. Everyone works together to make sure you are comfortable and get what you need during your visit.
Stanger brings expertise from a decade in nursing, including several years as the manager of an intensive care unit. Her compassion aligns with the values of CTCA—to treat patients like family members. Stanger explains, “I came to CTCA because I was drawn to the Mother Standard of care and the clarification it provides when deciding the ‘right’ thing to do for patients.”
“I am extremely blessed to have a staff that is not only clinically excellent, but also displays a high level of compassion for the patients that are treated in the Infusion Center. It makes my job highly rewarding,” says Stanger.
The Infusion Center at Western overlooks the Arizona landscape and includes 24 chairs in the main area and two private rooms, which are assigned based on special needs.
The Infusion Center chairs were designed by La-Z-Boy with the input of our patients. These wide, reclining chairs contain layered pillows that can be adjusted for maximum comfort. A heated gown is available in each bay in case you get cold.
“We have a great design in the department. Half-walls surround each treatment bay, which allows our patients to have a sense of privacy, but not feel isolated. The center is surrounded on three sides by large windows that provide a beautiful view," says Stanger.