Took a walk down memory lane today at Hopkins. Walked down the halls of infusion; chemo land to be specific. There are not many good things to remember about chemotherapy. Hands-down the best part of that time was our friendship with our chemo nurse. She was and still is a great pal. She got us through the beginning, middle and end of each session. Thank goodness she was a sports nut like me and actually Leroy too. On the toughest days, talking sports got us up and over some nasty hurdles of cancer and chemotherapy.
Things have changed in chemo land. There was always room for improvement, but hard to implement because of logistics and sometimes things just stay the same because they do; no reason, no excuses.
Clearly the nurses and their supervisors have cleared the way for patients to receive a better experience, one that provides easier procedures along with faster treatment times and more efficient care.
There’s really no more one nurse to one patient. Instead the ‘pod’ where the patient goes for chemo has a team of nurses familiar with all patients assigned to that specific ‘pod.’ A patient to multiple super nurses: I like that math.
There are ‘safety zones’ where a patient’s chemo is double checked before treatment. There is nothing more important that patient safety.
Some patients require special needs. Some patients circumstances mean more attention is insisted upon, so new assigned support teams are at the ready to fill those needs.
Phone teams are in place now to make contact ahead of the chemo appointment to check on the patients’ condition, and just to remind them they are expected for treatment. That way any problems can be anticipated before the patient walks in the door. Even the chemotherapy can be mixed and ready when the patient arrives at infusion. Thinking back in time and remembering the delays in treatment only because the pharmacy was backed up, as we sat there watching the clock.
Supplies are within an arms reach, there are new and important protective gear orders for the nurses in case of any spills. Safety precautions for those we rely on to provide the care is critical too.
The world of chemo therapy and how it’s dispensed has moved forward, giving the patient a safer, faster, more secure approach to treatment.
Cancer world is growing up in so many ways.