Dalby Hospital is successfully operating an oncology infusion clinic to provide patient-centred care closer to home.
Oncology infusion is a treatment process required when a person is diagnosed with cancer. The treatment involves giving the patient chemotherapy medication.
The clinic operates at Dalby Hospital once a week, while the main oncology centre for patients is at Toowoomba Hospital. Due to the number of patients travelling from Dalby to Toowoomba for oncology infusions, the rural hospital was able to commence offering the service.
“We commenced this service in late 2016 due to the number of patients travelling from Dalby to Toowoomba Hospital for their chemotherapy treatments,” registered nurse Ms Nicole McKernan said.
“Depending on the cancer diagnosis, a patient’s chemotherapy treatment can take anywhere from half an hour to a full day in clinic.
“Travelling to Toowoomba for treatment was quite disruptive to not only their lives, but their families or careers as well.
Since inception, the oncology infusion clinic has received very positive feedback from the patients.
“Our patients are very happy they can now receive their treatment here in Dalby,” registered nurse Ms Melinda Nystrom said.
“We are able to give our patients an appointment time to present to the clinic, receive their infusion and then go home.
“Receiving chemotherapy is quite an emotional time, and it is socially isolating. By providing this service, we are reducing our patients travel costs and stress.
“Both myself and Nicole really try to make this difficult time as easy for our patients as possible and being able to offer this clinic is just one way to make a difference and increase their quality of life.”