Infusion Therapy

Infusion Therapy

A female RN in blue nurses uniform speaks with an older African American woman in a hospital room.

Trust our compassionate infusion therapists

Penn State Cancer Institute Infusion Therapy is located in the Cancer Institute adjacent to the main entrance to the Medical Center in Suite T1300. Specially trained and certified nurses who specialize in oncology nursing provide cancer chemotherapy treatments, non-chemotherapy drug administration, blood products, lab draws from central venous catheters, hydration and antibiotics. Infusion Therapy consists of two distinct areas: Infusion Services and Day Infusion (an area utilized primarily by our post-bone marrow transplant patients and hematology patients who need close monitoring after being discharged from the hospital).

Certain treatments and therapies require special scheduling. Your appointments will be made in cooperation with your physician and nurse coordinator in order to appropriately carry out your treatment plan. We will do our best to work with your personal schedule as well. All services provided are by appointment only.

Questions regarding your schedule should be addressed with your Medical Office Associate by calling 717-531-6585, option 4; then option 2).

Blood Work

Many of the injections and infusion drugs that we administer require blood work results prior to treatment in order to be administered safely.

Your blood work can be drawn on the day of the infusion:

On-campus

Or prior to your infusion appointment (must be less than 7 days):

On-campus

At your family doctor, or a local laboratory, with the results faxed to your nurse coordinator or Outpatient Infusion Therapy.

Due to the time required to process blood work and obtain results (anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes for most “stat” blood work), it is advisable that if possible, labs be completed a day or more prior (no more than a week) to a physician or Outpatient Infusion Therapy visit. To have blood work completed in any other lab outside of the Cancer Institute, you will need to obtain a written order for blood work from your nurse coordinator. Have these lab results faxed to us. Our fax number will be written on the lab order request.

Hours of operations

Outpatient Lab (Suite T2350)
Monday - Friday
7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

University Physicians Center Lab (Suite 520)
Monday - Friday - 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Saturday - 6:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Process

The appointment time given is an arrival time only. The process of a typical infusion appointment has several steps.

After check in, many steps are taken to ensure that your visit goes smoothly. Part of this process is awaiting delivery of your drug from our on-site pharmacy (if you require a drug). Most drugs cannot be ordered or prepared until you arrive at Outpatient Infusion Therapy and your blood counts are reviewed and found to be within an acceptable range.

Patients visit Outpatient Infusion Therapy for many different reasons, services and lengths of time. You may not be taken back to the infusion area in the order in which you checked in. This is because all of the steps necessary to complete your appointment may progress faster or slower than another patient’s depending on the service provided or the drug to be administered.

Many of our patients wear a MASK to protect themselves because of lowered resistance to infection. If you have symptoms of a cough or upper respiratory infection, please wear a mask to limit the spread of your germs and protect others. Disposable masks are available at the check-in desk for your use. Please ask the front desk staff.

Patient Amenities

Our patient rooms are equipped with comforts such as:

  • Glass walls that allow enjoyment of an outside view
  • WiFi and televisions with cable
  • A kitchenette in the waiting area (for patient use only) stocked with cold drinks, a microwave, and a boiling hot water tap for tea, instant coffee, and hot chocolate
  • Blankets from a warming cabinet are available to you for comfort
  • The Healing Garden - during nice weather, patients have access to our healing garden filled with many plants and a walking path. Please speak to your nurse if you are interested in utilizing this area.

In Your Treatment Room

  • Bring with you any blankets, sweaters, books, entertainment and food that you would like. All are allowed in your room.
  • We recommend that you dress in layers to maximize your overall comfort.
  • Shirts with buttons allow for easy access to central lines and ports. “V” necklines are also suitable. If your labs are drawn from your arm, wear sleeves that can roll up past your elbow.
  • Bring your medications (both pain and other daily medications) that you would normally take during the time that you will be in Outpatient Infusion Therapy. It is best to plan ahead for these needs.
  • Bone Marrow Transplant patients: bring your anti-rejection medications with you so you can take them after your blood level is drawn.
  • Please limit yourself to two guests at any one time in the treatment room for the efficiency and safety of our nurses and patients. Please do not bring small children with you to these appointments.
  • In our Rapid Infusion area (where most labs are drawn, ports are flushed and short duration treatments are given), we ask that family and friends wait for the patient in the waiting room or lobby because the nurses need to maximize the small space in which they have to work.

Front Desk Staff

  • The front desk staff is available Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • The phone number is 717-531-6585 (select Option 4; then Option 2).
  • During normal business hours, a voicemail may be left for the front desk staff.

The Medical Office Associate staff is available to assist you with the following:

  • Check-in/check-out
  • Scheduling and rescheduling appointments
  • Answering general questions
  • Paging your nurse coordinator
  • Obtaining referrals
  • Providing directions
  • Arranging to speak with our social worker
  • Calling your transportation to pick you up
  • Writing absence excuses for school and work
  • Filling out mileage paperwork for financial assistance

Note: The most efficient way to reach your oncologist during normal business hours is by calling your nurse coordinator.

For emergency and very serious health-related issues (including fever > 100.4) after normal business hours, on weekends or holidays, please call 717-531-6585 (select option 4) to be connected to our after-hours nurse triage care line. Be prepared to give your name, your physician’s name, the disease for which you are receiving care and what medical issue you are experiencing (the reason for your call). Depending on the problem you are experiencing, you may be directed to go to the Emergency Room.

When to Call Your Oncologist

Do not let any of the following symptoms go unchecked for more than 24 hours. Prompt attention may be vital.

  • A fever of 100.4° or higher - call immediately
  • Chills with or without fever
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Nausea/vomiting not relieved by home medications
  • Any onset of shortness of breath, chest pain, or increase in these symptoms (call 911 if life-threatening)
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Development of a rash
  • Severe diarrhea or constipation
  • Feeling of extreme cold
  • Unusual dizziness or heart palpitations

Contact us

Monday - Friday
Patient Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m.
Treatment hours - 8 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Rapid area lab draw (appointment only) - 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Saturday, Sunday and Holidays
Lab and Treatment - 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Phone: 717-531-8128