When chemotherapy is part of your cancer treatment plan, Doctors Medical Center of Modesto offers infusion therapy services at a specialized outpatient infusion center.
Preparing for your appointment
Your comfort is important to us during your visits to the Infusion Center. Snacks and beverages are available to you throughout the day. If you wish to bring your own meals, feel free to do so.
When preparing for your infusion appointment, dress in comfortable shoes and clothing that is suitable for sitting in a recliner for a long period of time and that allows our care team to easily access your arms to take your blood pressure and administer treatment. We recommend that you layer your clothing so you can adjust to the room temperature.
Please be prepared to give a list of medications you are taking and your medical history since your last infusion appointment.
Friends or family members who accompany you will have to stay in a waiting room that is nearby and can take turns visiting you during your infusion treatment. This allows enough room for other patients who are receiving treatments at the same time. If you need assistance using the restroom, please make sure to have a family member or friend in the waiting room to be able to help you.
Blood Transfusion Note: Blood transfusion appointments involve a two-day process. Before your blood transfusion appointment, you must be “typed and crossed” at the Doctors Medical Center laboratory. You must check in with Outpatient Admitting for this procedure. This can be done one to two days prior to your scheduled appointment at any time, unless otherwise instructed. The laboratory staff will place a “blood band” on your wrist. DO NOT REMOVE THIS BAND. If bands are removed, you will need to have another “type and cross” performed and your transfusion appointment will be rescheduled.
What to expect during your appointment
The length of your treatment will vary depending on the type of treatment you are receiving. Infusions can take two or more hours, depending on the medications you receive. Some infusion treatments take six to eight hours. Your nurse will tell you the approximate length of your infusion. Be sure to ask how long each visit should take so that you can plan accordingly.
At the beginning of each infusion visit, we will assess your condition to make sure your health is stable and it is appropriate for you to receive your medication that day. This may include laboratory blood draws if indicated by your physician. Labs may be done the day prior, but not more than one week from the scheduled appointment. Be sure to let your nurse know if you have a cold, cough, flu-like symptoms or other discomfort.
Once we have determined that you can begin your treatment, your nurse will have to do several things, including calling the pharmacy for your medication. Mixing infusion medication can be time-consuming and requires special handling. The pharmacy staff has special training to mix these types of infusions, and takes the time needed to be careful and accurate.
Although your primary nurse will provide most of your care, other nurses in the Infusion Center can also help you and keep you comfortable. Please feel free to let any of the nurses know if you need anything.
Chemotherapy Note: Your nurse will be wearing protective equipment such as gloves and gown when preparing the infusion. That is because chemotherapy requires special handling. When the medication is in a patient's body, the treatment is doing what it is expected to do. Nurses who are exposed to these medications every day must take precautions to avoid overexposure. Your nurse may give you medication to prevent nausea and other reactions to the chemotherapy medications. This may make you sleepy. For your first infusion treatment, please make sure that someone is available to give you a ride home.