When it comes to the management of certain acute and chronic health conditions, infusion therapy can be a practical and very effective treatment method. Infusion therapy is often used to administer complex medications that can’t be given or taken orally, or simply work better when given intravenously or subcutaneously. Ultimately, it works as a safe and alternative method of receiving medications.
Infusions are generally given in a clinical setting but can also be provided at a doctor’s office or even in the comfort of someone’s home. As preparing for your first infusion can feel overwhelming, it is important to educate yourself so you know what to expect and to help reduce your anxiety about the procedure.
Here are our top tips on how to best prepare for your first infusion treatment.
Organize all of your information and health information to bring to your appointment. On the day of your treatment, be sure to bring with you any insurance-related information, medical history, and identification documents. Make sure to give them a call before your appointment to ask about any forms or information needed. With this in mind, it’s always recommended to complete all of your forms before the appointment to save time. Most centers provide any required form on their websites.
Have a clear transportation plan. While it may sound obvious, it is important to have a transportation plan in place so you know how you will be getting to your treatment center and how you will be getting home. Not knowing this information can make the process of getting a first-time infusion more overwhelming. Due to possible side effects or weakness related to seide effects of the infusion therapy medication, It’s always recommended to have someone who can drive you back. You will need someone who you can rely on who will not cancel last minute and who can wait for the duration of the therapy.
Research your center of attendance. It’s always a good idea to do some research about the infusion center you plan to attend. This will help you gain a better understanding of any specific procedures you may be undergoing, any requirements that the center may have, as well as learn more about the different amenities provided by the center. For example, many centers will offer free wifi, snacks, comfort blankets, etc. This way you can know for sure whether you’ll need to bring in your own or can count on the facility to provide these types of things for you.
Make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions. Before your appointment, it’s always recommended to discuss with your healthcare provider about any details or specific instructions they’d like for you and your nurses to follow. For example, for certain types of treatments your doctor may recommend you to get specific kinds of blood work, or take certain medications prior to your infusion. Your doctor may also advise you to make sure you are well hydrated before the infusion therapy. Taking the time to speak to your doctor about these things will help make the whole process easier, as well as ease your nerves.
Bring comfort items or food. Most centers allow patients to have a snack or drink during treatment unless specified otherwise by your provider. In case your center of choice does not provide any snacks, it’s always good to pack some with you, especially if you suffer from diabetes or blood sugar imbalances and require regular eating or snacking. As a rule of thumb, it is a good idea to bring foods or snacks that are easy to pack that have little to no odors so you don’t disturb other patients who might be sharing the room with you. A comfort blanket is also a good idea in case the room is cold.
Make a list of your medications. Before arriving at your appointment, it’s a good idea to make a list of any medications you might be taking. Having this list prepared beforehand will ensure that you don’t forget to tell the nurses about any medication that could possibly interact with your treatment.
Ask questions. As obvious as it might sound, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Coming into your first infusion informed and well-educated can make a world of difference to your level of comfort and confidence regarding the procedure. The reality is that most of your concerns can be easily addressed by the medical staff, helping quell any concerns you may have. You can always ask for a specific plan of action, what medications will be administered so you can do some research prior to your appointment, and even if there are possible side effects you should be aware of.
What to Expect
As Infusion therapies can vary from patient to patient and as well as depend on the health issue they are targeting it is advised to always check with your doctor in regards to what to expect for your treatment.. As a general rule, you want to arrive early and expect to have some blood work done before your infusion. There is usually no special preparation before your infusion and you can typically have breakfast before and something to drink to stay hydrated. Unless indicated by your provider, it’s usually safe to take your daily medications, but make sure to discuss this with your doctor. Also, try wearing comfortable clothing that offers easy access to your arms to make the infusion process easier.
As an infusion patient, once finished with your first therapy, you’ll find it helpful to reflect on the type of treatment you received. Keep in mind that you have the choice in deciding the right location for you. Finding a facility that listens to your needs and is willing to make accommodations for you can be extremely helpful. Being surrounded by an uplifting and supportive staff will have a significant impact on making the process more comfortable for you.
At Specialty Infusion Center we value each one of our patients and make sure to always provide the best possible care as well as an environment that makes you feel heard and safe. Contact or visit us today to learn more about infusion therapy and have all of your questions answered by one of our specialists.