The Medicine Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays. Patients receive chemotherapy (cancer-fighting drugs), blood products, and other medicines and treatments in this area on an outpatient basis.
Process for getting to the Medicine Room
Several steps must occur before we can treat your child in the Medicine Room. These steps depend on what day and time you arrive at the hospital.
For Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–5 p.m.
When you arrive at the hospital, stop in Patient Registration to get your child’s ID armband and schedule card. If the schedule has an Assessment and Triage visit, your child’s name will be called on the overhead speaker or by the cell phone number you provided during registration. If you do not have an Assessment and Triage visit planned, go to the patient representative at your next scheduled location.
During visits in your child’s primary clinic, the doctor will write the order for any medicine or treatments your child will receive in the Medicine Room.
After you leave the clinic visit, you will have some time to relax while the doctor’s order is processed. Please check in with the patient representative just outside the Medicine Room. This lets the staff know that your child is waiting to be seen. Because of limited space and privacy needs, please stay in the waiting area until you are notified that it is time for your child to come to the Medicine Room.
The doctor’s order must first go to the Pharmacy, where the order is reviewed and prepared in the Pharmacy. If it is chemo, it must be checked independently by two pharmacists. Then, the Pharmacy delivers the medicine to the Medicine Room. Two registered nurses, separate of each other, must check the medicine to make sure it is what the doctor ordered. Then, your child will be called to the Medicine Room. If delays occur in any part of this process, your child might be called to the Medicine Room later than planned.
If you need to come to the Medicine Room before your child is called, please stop at the front desk inside the Medicine Room. The patient representative will be glad to help you. If there is a problem, ask for the resource nurse during the day. A nursing coordinator is also in the hospital at all times to help you.
For Monday–Friday, 5 p.m.–7 a.m.
When the clinics close at 5 p.m., patients come to the Medicine Room for unplanned visits—central line problems, fever, or illness.
After 5 p.m., you will begin your hospital visits in Patient Registration. After registering, you will take your child to Assessment and Triage if your child has an AT appointment.
The patient representative’s desk is not staffed on weeknights, so after your child has been assessed come to the Medicine Room. If there is no AT appointment, come directly to the Medicine Room.
If you come in after 5:30 p.m., the Medicine Room staff will assess and triage your child. After 10 p.m., the Medicine Room staff will register your child.
When you come to the Medicine Room in the evening, you might be asked to wait outside in the lobby after check-in. When the Medicine Room nurses are ready for your child, you will hear his name called on the overhead speaker or the cell phone number you provided will be called.
If your child becomes ill during the night, please call 901-595-3300 and ask to speak with the doctor on call. If you are instructed to bring your child to St. Jude, please go directly to the Medicine Room.
If you need to schedule follow-up visits, a nurse scheduler is in the Medicine Room Monday–Friday from 5–8 p.m.
For weekends and holidays
Your first stop will be in Patient Registration for your child’s ID armband. Then, the staff will direct you to either Assessment and Triage or the Medicine Room for vital signs and to have samples taken for lab tests. If you need to schedule follow-up visits, a nurse scheduler is in the Medicine Room on weekends from 7 a.m.–7 p.m.
Guidelines for the Medicine Room
The Medicine Room staff wants your child’s stay to be safe and pleasant. These guidelines can help you prepare for your time with us. If you have any questions about the guidelines, please talk to a Medicine Room nurse or the hospital’s nursing coordinator on duty.
- After you leave your child’s clinic appointment, please sign in at the patient representative’s desk just outside the Medicine Room. This lets the staff know that your child is waiting. Because of limited space and privacy needs, please stay in the waiting area until you are notified that it is time for your child to come to the Medicine Room. The Medicine Room staff will notify you as soon as they have the doctor’s order and materials to treat your child.
- When in the Medicine Room, please remember that staff members depend on you to continue to provide care to your child, such as diaper changes, feedings, and other child care activities.
- To control the spread of infection, please do not go to the blanket warmer or to the refrigerator. Staff members are glad to do these things for you.
- The side rails on the stretchers and beds should always be up when you are away from your child’s bedside. This protects your child from falling and getting hurt.
- If your child is younger than 36 months, you will be offered a crib. All patients younger than 36 months must be placed in cribs if they are left alone.
- Please remember that space is limited in the Medicine Room. The staff knows that family members want to be with their child, and that family presence is important for your child. Please understand that sometimes the staff may have to limit the number of people in a room.
- If you have to leave your child’s room but you don’t want to leave him unsupervised, you will need to find someone to stay with your child. Staff members can sometimes sit with your child while you make a short visit to the cafeteria. But please arrange for another caregiver if you need to leave your child for more than 15 minutes.
- The stretchers in the Medicine Room are for patient use only. By limiting the number of people who lay on the stretchers, we hope to prevent the spread of infection.
- If your child has a wheelchair or other large equipment, please let the Medicine Room staff store it to keep the treatment area safe. Please do not bring riding toys into the Medicine Room.
- Eating and drinking are allowed in the Medicine Room. To help prevent the spread of infection, please follow the hospital’s infection control and “Eating Safely” guidelines. (See “Do you know…How to prevent infection” and the “Eating Safely.”)
- If you are unable to leave your child in the Medicine Room to go to the cafeteria, you may order food from room service. A staff member will place the food order. Then, you will need to go to the cafeteria, pay for the food using cash or a meal card, and return to the Medicine Room promptly. Staff members can sometimes sit with your child while you make a short visit to the cafeteria, but please arrange for another caregiver if you need to leave your child for more than 15 minutes. Snacks are offered in the Nutrition Center for the patients who are being seen in the Medicine Room.
- To protect the privacy of all patients, no one is allowed behind the counters except staff members.
- Feel free to bring quiet toys or books with you into the Medicine Room.
- A playroom is offered if a “play break” will help your child relax. It is staffed by a Child Life specialist, who can offer activities for your child. In an effort to make Medicine Room visits safe for all patients, this playroom can be used by patients only while they are receiving treatment in the Medicine Room. If you and your child are waiting to go to the Medicine Room, we ask that you wait in the north clinic waiting area until your child’s name is called.
- When your child is using the Medicine Room playroom, we ask that you follow these guidelines:
- An adult must supervise your child while he is in the playroom.
- Food and drinks should not be brought into the playroom.
- Your child must return to his room or recliner chair when he is connected or disconnected from any medicine.
- Any toys your child uses in the playroom should be placed in the “dirty toy bin” so they can be cleaned before other patients play with them.
Consecutive days of chemotherapy
- Chemo given every day at the same time in the Medicine Room cannot be given early without an order from your child’s doctor.
- If your child is receiving chemo every 24 hours or every 12 hours for a certain number of days, then the medicine cannot be given more than 2 hours earlier than the time it was started the previous day.
- For certain chemo, the doctor may allow the medicine to be started 2 hours earlier than the previous day.
- Your child’s schedule will need to be amended each day according to the actual start time of the chemo. The Medicine Room nurse will call the scheduler each day to have your child’s schedule reflect the correct time that the chemo can be started the following day.
- Please check with the nurse before leaving the Medicine Room to be sure that your child’s schedule has been changed to reflect the correct appointment time for the next day’s chemo treatment.
- For continuous chemo given over 24 hours using a CADD pump, an earlier start time is not permitted.
This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.
St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.
ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).
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