It is vital that you take an active role in making sure that you are going to receive the correct IV treatment and injections. Mistakes do happen, protect yourself. Make sure that you personally double check to confirm you’re receiving the correct treatment. Don’t sit back and rely on another person, errors do occur and you will be the one to suffer.

1. When you see your oncologist ask for a list of the drugs you will be receiving at your next infusion. Bring this list with you to the infusion center.

2. At the infusion center the certified oncology nurse should review the list with you to make sure that you both are in 100% agreement.

3. Before you are given any drug, including any pretreatment drugs, make sure that the oncology nurse confirms your name and date of birth and then shows you your name and birthdate on the infusion containers. Check these drugs against the list given to you by the oncologist.

4. Prior to being given any drug make sure that a second certified oncology nurse comes in double checks the dosage and the drug. Both nurses must sign off on the medication.

5. If there is ever a question about any specific drug or a dose do not allow the infusion to begin until your oncologist has been called to verify the drug or the dosage.

As Ben Franklin said,”An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” We are going for the cure, so take the ounce of prevention.

Joel T Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.