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? about chemo nurse care..

jenalynet's picture
Posts: 363
Joined: Nov 2005

When I go to see my oncologist on Tuesdays for chemo pump refill of 5FU and a dressing change for picc line I wonder about the nurses at his office. This past week after she changed the dressing flushed etc., I asked her don't you need to draw blood? ( they get blood from the line ) She said I don't know let me check. She came back in the room and did need to draw blood from the line but I wonder why she doesn't have my records or whatever she needs to read etc to know what I am to have done. I asked about the blood because both the first time I went another nurse did the dressing and drew blood and the second time this nurse drew blood..I never know which nurse I will get and this office is so busy because they give chemo treatments on site for people. When I made my appointment before leaving on Tuesday I told the receptionist I needed it for around 11AM because the pump runs empty after 11AM..she said I don't have an empty room at this time so I will have to delay someone else. I wonder if they are organized or what..They know I need to come each week but I have to explain this every week..Am I just making something out of nothing?? Happy new Year to everyone..Audrey

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

Audrey -

Sounds like they are very disorganized - and that's how mistakes are made and people get hurt. I would suggest that they have too many patients. Maybe you could help them out with that "problem" and find a place that treats you with respect, compassion, and looks at you as a patient, not just another body to push through their mill.

Remember, these people work for YOU. If you are not comfortable in that clinic or if you are dissatisfied with their level of service, then I woudl suggest you find a place where you are comfortable. You deserve to be treated like the boss, not a number!

Just my 2 cents-worth.


- Bob

Posts: 45
Joined: Dec 2005

My husband just finished his 5 weeks of chemo with picc line. They gave him 8 days supply so that he would never have to worry on the 7th day of running out. Seems pretty sad that you even have to worry about any of this. Hope things get better.

kerry's picture
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003


Listen to SpongeBob he is right on target! If you are not comfortable with the care you are receiving you need to change. I did and I am so thankful, but believe me, I wouldn't hesitate to change again if I thought I wasn't getting the best care possible.

Takea care.


Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Dear Audrey,
I certainly understand your frustration, But, you know, it is very easy to cry "change"; but sometimes, it isn't always the immediate answer. Why not voice your concerns and make your needs known to the staff in a pleasant but straightforward manner - letting them know what your expectations are for future appointments and asking if they can meet your expectations....it won't hurt and it will let you know if you are truly running into a wall.
In my case, I live in an area with only two chemo centers linked to the medical group and hospitals (oncologist's offices with staff set-up for infusions as well). The docs can be (and I think are) excellent as the area is well known (in between Stanford medical center and UCSF); but like anything else, my doc's background check meant nothing if he wasn't taking the time to read my bloodwork. But, more importantly, it simply was not prudent for me to move centers and risk having any sort of emergency situation and not be within close driving distance to my doc or hospital; I just knew that I needed to let them know that I wasn't just another bowling pin being set-up for chemo.....my doctors take me very seriously, in part because they know that I take my care seriously as well.
I am in no way asking you to back down (or to read an incredibly long post!); I would just urge you to talk to first speak with the nurse in charge, your doc, or even the receptionist. There may be a team of great nurses there which you can access; and the effort of asserting yourself will let them know that you are an active participant in your own care. It is important to weigh all of the pieces, and then make a decision to change docs or chemo centers because it can impact your entire regime (surgeon, gastro, etc.). It could be as simple a phone call reinforcing to the staff there that you need a really high level of care - and that their present level is worrying you.....Believe me, no one likes to hear comments like that and I would bet that people will take you a lot more seriously. And if nothing else, you will know that you have given them a chance to wake up to your needs; if positive changes don't happen immediately, then I would start a search - because then you will know that your communication went off into space...not what we want at all! In the meantime, I hope you are tolerating your chemo and that your year is starting off well. All the best to you - Maura

jenalynet's picture
Posts: 363
Joined: Nov 2005

I want to thank everyone for their replies. My husband and I meet with the oncologist today and I will speak my mind about my care etc. I need to take charge but I am always afraid of hurting feelings which is something I need to put aside when it comes to my health and my life. Thank you for your help...Audrey

Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Really glad that you are meeting with your onc. Speaking your mind doesn't mean anger or drama. Call it thinking out loud, how's that? I am sure that you and your onc will be better for it. Take care - Maura

Posts: 296
Joined: Mar 2004


I know just how you are feeling. When my husband started his treatments I felt the same way and was really pissed about them treating us as a number so when we went in the next time I blew my top and told the nurses and the Dr. what I thought. It worked and everytime after that things change greatly for the good. If it doesn't work PLEASE change and go to someone who will treat you and your husband as you ahould be treated!!!!

Best of Luck. You are in my prayers!!!


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