Denise Fleming on Pre-Treatment Phone Calls to Outpatient Chemotherapy Patients

Denise Fleming, RN, BSN, OCN, University of California Davis Health System, Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses the idea of a pre-treatment education phone call to patients scheduled to receive their first chemotherapy regimen in an outpatient facility.

Denise Fleming, RN, BSN, OCN, University of California Davis Health System, Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses the idea of a pretreatment education phone call for patients scheduled to receive their first chemotherapy regimen in an outpatient facility.

Fleming says the program, which was implemented and designed at the University of California Davis Health System, shifted the meeting place for the patient to a conversation on the phone. Some patients, especially in the Sacramento area, do not start their chemotherapy treatment until a couple weeks after diagnosis. The call is needed, Fleming says, since the doctor usually won't discuss what will happen in the infusion room and there is little information about it on the internet.

The length of time between the initial doctor visit and the chemotherapy visit causes many patients to develop anxiety. By calling patients beforehand, Fleming says the nurses were able to develop a relationship with the patient to put them at ease. This also allowed the facility to run more efficiently and smoothly.

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