Sunday, February 20, 2011

Don't Call Me, I'll Call You

Posted by Jody at Sunday, February 20, 2011

My rotation is Ambulatory Care with an Oncology focus. This rotation is based out of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Infusion Clinic.

Why is my role in the infusion clinic?

I participated in a program called “First-dose Follow-Up”. This program targeted new patients to the oncology infusion clinic.

Each day I accessed the schedule to determine the new patients being seen that day. I would work-up each new patient, learning past medical history and chemotherapy regimen. When the new patients arrived to the clinic I would perform medication reconciliation and explain how I would be contacting them the following day to make sure they are doing well and if they have any questions or concerns.

The following day I would contact the patient and go through a questionnaire form. This form was created using the Common Terminology Criteria of Adverse Effects (CTCAE) to assess various adverse effects of chemotherapy.

Once I completed the questionnaire I would discuss the patients’ responses with my preceptor and if needed the physicians.

What did I learn and gain from this rotation?

- What are the common chemotherapy regimens for various cancers (breast, colorectal, prostate, lung)

- Anti-emetic regimens

- Adverse effects of chemotherapy agents

- Time-management

- Communication skills

Whether you are extremely interested in oncology or not, this rotation will improve your communication and ability to manage your time. The First-dose Follow-Up program requires you to not only interact with patients but also nurses and physicians. I spoke daily with the nurses before I would perform med rec’s on their patients. During my phone call to the patient there were times where follow-up with the physician was needed because the patient was experiencing significant adverse effects from the chemotherapy. This program also requires that the student adequately plan and manage their time. Each day you are seeing new patients, calling patients from the previous day, completing projects, journal clubs, etc.

Don't think you need to be extremely interested in oncology in order to take this rotation. You will have patient interaction and strengthen communications stills which are key aspects of ambulatory care.

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