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Infusion Center

Our department

Designed with your needs in mind, the Infusion Center at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), Atlanta, was built to be 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 strive to make you as comfortable as possible. Each infusion bay is private and equipped with a comfortable chair and television. Chairs are also available for caregivers.

Infusion staff members are here to make our patients comfortable with heated blankets, drinks and snacks. You can also order meals from our hospital café, which will be delivered to you. While in the Atlanta Infusion Center, we encourage our patients to schedule appointments with supportive care services, such as their naturopathic provider, dietitian or spiritual counselor. Taking advantage of this time may help you relax during treatment and allow you to cross some items off your to-do list. Patients who order non-narcotic medicines using their private television via the Concierge system will have their medications delivered to them in the Infusion Center.

Infusion Center services

The Infusion Center’s services include:

  • Pre-medications (e.g., anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory)
  • Chemotherapy medications
  • General IV fluids
  • Antibiotics
  • Blood products
  • Total parenteral nutrition (TPN)

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 dosage of drugs you are receiving. Your nurse will be able to relay that information to you during your first treatment. If your regimen changes, your new regimen will have to be re-authorized through your insurance company. This may cause a slight delay, and the timeframe of your infusion may change, as well.

An infusion nurse will perform 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 will be provided in the Infusion Center. IV fluids may last between two and eight hours. If nutritional fluids, including total parenteral nutrition (TPN), are initiated, they are usually placed in a portable pump while at the center, then home health care is arranged for once you return home.

Speed of care and safety protocols

Before each visit to the Infusion Center, you will have lab work performed to make sure your blood counts are within an acceptable range to receive chemotherapy. With the hospital’s electronic health records system, lab results are automatically delivered to your medical oncologist and the Infusion Center in real time.

The chemotherapy is prepared by our in-house 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 other important aspects of your care.

The infusion team at CTCA Atlanta

Arletta Jackson, Infusion Center Manager at CTCA® Atlanta, leads a team of infusion nurses and patient care technicians and is responsible for safe administration of chemotherapy on an outpatient basis, as well as patient education.

Amy Lane, Director of Nurses, is responsible for seeing that a supportive, comfortable and safe environment is provided for every patient who visits the Infusion Center. “Our staff understands that our patients are the center of everything we do here at CTCA,” Lane says. “Like every department in the hospital, the Infusion Center at our Atlanta hospital was constructed with our patients’ needs in mind.”

The nursing team

Our nurses play a critical role in patients’ overall hospital experience. In recognition of that contribution, the CTCA Atlanta nursing program seeks to join the most elite members of the nursing field by applying for Magnet status.

This move marks the start of our Journey to Magnet Excellence®, the first in a rigorous three-step process that will take up to two years to complete. To earn Magnet status, organizations must apply and undergo a multi-faceted evaluation. They must also submit extensive documentation on how they meet Magnet standards.

The Magnet Recognition Program® is considered the gold standard of nursing excellence, recognizing health care organizations that provide high-quality patient care and professionalism in the nursing practice. Fewer than 9 percent of U.S. hospitals have earned the coveted Magnet designation.

The goals of the Magnet program are to:

  • Promote clinical quality
  • Improve patient outcomes
  • Support excellence in nursing

About Magnet recognition

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) is the world’s largest and most prominent credentialing organization for nurses. Its Magnet Recognition Program provides consumers with a benchmark for measuring quality care. In order for a site to be considered for the program, high-quality standards must be demonstrated in an extensive written document. After the ANCC reviews the document, it conducts a site visit, complete with onsite interviews and unit tours, that allow ANCC appraisers to verify, clarify and further explore the information contained in the document. Full Magnet recognition is granted for four years, during which the ANCC monitors the facility to ensure high standards of care continue to be met.

Studies show patient outcomes are more favorable in Magnet-designated hospitals, where patients are reported to experience fewer complications, lower mortality rates and higher patient satisfaction scores.

Read our 2017 Nursing Annual Report

Addressing wound care needs

Our Wound Care Unit is housed in the CTCA Atlanta Infusion Center. When going through cancer treatment, especially surgery, sometimes special attention is needed to address wound care concerns to help you heal properly. This may help you recover more quickly and return to doing the things you enjoy most.

Beth Culpepper, a certified Wound Care Nurse, has extensive wound care experience and is certified in this specialty. Culpepper is available to meet with patients in the Infusion Center.

Stephanie Bunch manages wound care concerns and management on the inpatient units. She is also a certified Wound Care Nurse with extensive experience working closely with both physicians and nursing staff.

Hours

The Infusion Center is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Hours may be adjusted on holidays.