How To Prepare Your Patient For Homebased Chemotherapy Sessions

Women visiting her friend after chemotherapy at home

Over the years, chemotherapy treatments have advanced to the point where it’s now possible to administer home-based sessions. Chemotherapy doesn’t involve highly specialized procedures because the medication can be administered through injections or intravenous fusions, thus making home-based treatment possible. 

This change in the mode of treatment will help patients avoid the hassle of traveling to hospitals and healthcare clinics and cut treatment-related costs. However, not all chemotherapy sessions can be done at home, and your oncologists will help you determine if the treatment can be home-based. Moreover, there are some long term side effects of chemotherapy; hence, it’s vital to make sure you choose the right treatment plan. 

If it’s okay for your patient to have home-based sessions, there are several ways you can prepare them for the treatments. This article explores the different ways to do so:

  • Prepare Them Psychologically

Going for chemotherapy can be overwhelming for some people as the treatment can change their lifestyles completely. For instance, dealing with the side effects such as hair loss can be distressing Therefore, your patients should be prepared psychologically and be aware that the treatment will be good for them, especially in the long run.

First, the oncologists can help to demystify certain myths about chemotherapy and provide helpful, reassuring facts that the patients need to know. Moreover, you can ask the patients to take some break away from work before the session to plan ahead. They can also use this time to address their concerns and fears. The patient should also talk to family and friends about their upcoming treatment as they may offer moral support. 

  • Keep The Patients On A Healthy Diet

A healthy diet will play a significant role in ensuring that the patient has all the essential nutrients their body needs to endure the treatment and ultimately get better. Chemotherapy can cause anemia, so the diet should be rich in iron. You can start giving them lots of fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in protein months before they begin their chemotherapy sessions. 

These kinds of food will also help them rebuild vital body tissues that the drugs might destroy. Moreover, a healthy diet will help the body fight against infections, as chemotherapy will kill some white blood cells, thus putting the body at more risk. 

Illustration de l’hospitalisation à domicile (HAD).

  • Ensure Patients Avoid Injuries

Injuries can also be a significant cause for concern for patients who are about to undergo chemotherapy. This is because injuries can cause infections in the body. Therefore, it’s best if your patient can avoid it altogether.

Make sure the patient stays away from animals that can scratch or bite them. In addition, let them wear comfortable shoes to prevent any injuries to the foot. Lastly, remind them to avoid using razor blades when shaving. 

If, by any chance, the patient gets injured, you should disinfect the wound and dress it properly. If the wound is severe, the patient should see a doctor as soon as possible. Before a chemotherapy session, a patient should be in the best possible condition and not with injuries. 

  • Maintain Hygiene

Good hygiene is important for the patient before and after their chemotherapy session. Chemotherapy sessions increase the risks of infections because they may weaken the immune system. Therefore, practicing good hygiene will help reduce the chances of infections. Here are some ways to ensure your patient and their home environment is hygienic: 

  • Disinfect surfaces that the patient might come in contact with using soap and water, following it up with disinfectants. While the patient can disinfect these surfaces themselves, it’s best to assist them to avoid any risks. 
  • Ensure that the patient takes a shower every day using soap and water. 
  • The patient should practice good oral hygiene by brushing their teeth at least twice every day. However, be keen to remind them to avoid alcohol-based mouthwash. 
  • Get rid of fresh plants and flowers because they can be entry points for germs that lead to infections. 
  • Make sure that your pets are clean by trimming their claws and keep them inside the house as much as possible. 
  • Practice general cleaning around the house. 

Maintaining good hygiene before and after the chemotherapy session may help your patients heal and avoid the long-term effects of chemotherapy. 

  • Ensure Other Medications Are Up-To-Date

Before taking the chemotherapy session, you should ensure that the patient stays updated with all their medications and healthcare practices. If the patient is under prescription drugs, they should continue taking them until the day of the session unless the doctor says otherwise. 

Moreover, the patient should make an appointment with the dentists to receive oral care and inquire about the best oral care practices after the chemotherapy sessions. 

Conclusion 

Homebased chemotherapy sessions can be advantageous as patients get the treatment in an environment they’re used to. In this setup, the patients’ families are better able to take care of them. However, the whole process can be overwhelming, and the treatment can also have numerous side effects. As such, the patient must be prepared for all that’s involved with the treatment. By following this guide, your patient is likely to face the therapy more prepared.

 

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