Infusion Center

The Infusion Center at Doctors Medical Center provides care to patients with cancer and other conditions that require intravenous treatments and injections. Treatments include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Biotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Medications and antibiotics
  • Blood and blood products
  • Iron
  • Cortisol (for cortisol stimulation testing)

We follow the guidelines and training set by the Oncology Nurses Society and Infusion Nurses Society to make sure we use national best practices for cancer care, education and administration. Members of our infusion team provide compassionate care to each of our patients. By showing empathy and offering comfort, our infusion nurses alleviate a patient's fears. This helps them feel confident that they are receiving the best care.

 

Scheduling your appointment

Open Monday through Friday

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Telephone: (510) 970-5143

Fax: (510) 970-5783

 

Arrival information

When you arrive for your appointment you will be greeted by a Cancer Center staff member and introduced to your primary infusion nurse. Please be prepared to give a list of medications you are taking and your medical history since your last infusion appointment.

 

Bring the education binder you received during education day to each appointment.

 

Preparing for your appointment

Our staff makes sure that patients are as comfortable as possible during their visits to the Infusion Center. We offer private treatment rooms for patients who need to be fully reclined. Each treatment chair has an individual television with optional earphones.

 

Refrigerators and microwave ovens are available for patients who wish to bring refreshments with them during their visits. We also offer light lunches to patients who schedule their visits during lunch time. Beverages are always available to patients throughout the day.

 

When preparing for your infusion appointment, dress in comfortable shoes and clothing that allows our care team to easily access your arms to take your blood pressure and administer treatment.

 

Please bring only one friend or family member with you to your appointment. This will leave enough room for other patients who are receiving treatments. Other loved ones can wait in the Cancer Center library or lobby and take turns visiting you during your infusion treatment.

 

What to expect during your appointment

Please wear comfortable clothing that is suitable for sitting in a recliner for a long period of time.

Clothing should allow your arms to be accessible so that our care team can take your blood pressure and administer IV treatments. We recommend that you layer your clothing so you can adjust to the room temperature.

 

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. 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.

 

Note: Your nurse will be wearing protective equipment like 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 be sure that someone is available to give you a ride home.

 

Although your primary nurse will provide most of your care to you, 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.

 

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 approximately how long your infusion will take. Be sure to ask how long each visit should take so that you can plan accordingly.

 

Many healthcare specialists from around the hospital are involved in our patients' recovery and well-being. Our experienced oncology physicians, nurses, dietitians, social workers, physical therapists and other allied health professionals are all available to support your recovery process.

 

From your first visit to follow up appointments and through remission, we are with you to assess your changing needs and offer special services including palliative care, physical therapy, pain management, spiritual guidance and nutrition and social support.

 

Eileen Scott, RN, OCN

Clinical Director, Oncology Services

"Caring for people is something I've done all my life. When I was growing up, I was the family caregiver — providing Bandaids and compresses to my parents. Becoming a nurse was a natural progression. I grew up in this community, attending Richmond High School and graduating from Contra Costa College with an RN degree. Patient care was something I loved. Bedside nursing seemed to be my calling. Providing comfort and care, making someone's day a little better and being the "favorite nurse" was incredibly rewarding.

 

Having lived in the community I often took care of friends and their families. This was often a difficult thing to do depending on the patient's circumstances. As I became more adept at handling my emotions and more expert in my nursing abilities I was able to put the "difficult" times into a place in my mind where I was thankful to be the nurse who was there for them, thankful they were not with a stranger but with me, and privileged that they wanted me by their side during whatever difficult period they were going through.

 

When the Fourth Floor was designated the Oncology floor I embraced oncology nursing with a vengeance, trying to absorb everything I could about cancer nursing. Working in the Cancer Center was a new world of nursing.

 

Making the change from bedside nursing to the Infusion Center and Radiation Therapy was daunting, but I took the plunge. I was afraid I would lose the connection I had with patients but I found the connection was multiplied ten-fold. In the Cancer Center you build a special bond with the patients. You allow yourself to have a connection with the family and patient as they go through a treatment course. Offering support for our patients is one of the most fulfilling roles. The course of treatment is often long and hard. We provide the hope and encouragement to help them make it through and not give up.

 

I became the Cancer Center Clinical Director to make sure the nurses here have the same passion, goals and standards that I have and that our patients deserve. I'm very proud of the staff we have here. The nurses are the best in their fi eld and are loved by the patients. I love working here. The staff in the Cancer Center are all dedicated to making patients feel comfortable and cared for. We all work together as a team. All the services areas are connected and help one another. Our goal is to give patients and family the best possible care while providing comfort and hope and sometimes laughter".

 

Infusion Information Resource Library

Patients and their loved ones often have questions and mixed feelings when they learn they will be receiving infusion therapy. To help address these questions and concerns, and prepare you for your treatment, our Cancer Center has prepared the information below.

 

Beginning Treatment

How we protect patient safety

Questions and Answers about Cancer Treatment Related Fatigue

 

During Treatment

Coping with chemotherapy

Side effects of chemotherapy — lymphedema

Coping with the side effects of chemotherapy — depression

An introduction to palliative care

 

Survivorship

Survivorship and living after cancer treatment

 

Accreditations

Our infusion nurses must take a chemotherapy and biotherapy infusion course that is taught by Oncology Nurses Society (ONS) educators. This must be completed before the nurses may work in the Infusion Center. We based our policies and procedures on nationally-recognized organizations including ONS and the Infusion Nurses Society (INS). Many of our nurses also hold national oncology certified nursing credentials.

 

Other resources

American Cancer Society: Get information on cancer, how to stay healthy, find support and treatment, explore research, get involved, etc.

www.cancer.org

 

Journey Forward: These days, more and more people survive cancer. But once treatment ends, many survivors feel a bit lost and unsure about their next steps. Journey Forward can help.

www.journeyforward.org

 

National Cancer Institute(NCI): Credible, current cancer information from the U.S. National Cancer Institute. Topics include: Types of Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colon and Rectal Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Breast Cancer, Clinical Trials, Cancer Topics, About NCI.

www.cancer.gov