The infusion center is the part of the clinic where I give patients intravenous (IV) infusions and subcutaneous injections. The IV infusions include: infliximab (Remicade), abatacept (Orencia), zoledronic acid (Reclast), rituximab (Rituxan), tocilizumab (Actemra), belimumab (Benlysta), and ibandronate sodium (Boniva). One of the subcutaneous injections I give is denosumab (Prolia); I also demonstrate and teach patients how to self-inject these medications at home. Every patient premedicates with Tylenol Arthritis and an antihistamine, unless instructed otherwise by Dr. Massey. We do this to reduce the chance of adverse reactions.
When a patient arrives, I call them back to my treatment room where I assess their vital signs, assess for current sickness or infection, and start their IV. The treatment duration varies according to the medication the patient receives. I check the patient’s vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration) every thirty minutes during the infusion and upon completion.
We also treat patients from other physicians. I act as the liaison between the Arthritis Center and these physicians, communicating with them and sending office notes upon completion of each treatment. I do the same for Dr. Massey’s patients, keeping an open and frequent line of communication with their primary care physicians.
I enjoy performing infusions because I like helping people. This job is very emotionally rewarding. My most gratifying experience is when a patient has their first infusion and comes back to tell me how much better they feel.
Tashina Coleman, RN