Our infusion centers are only made possible by our incredible teams of registered nurses and nurse practitioners, each an expert in the field of infusion nursing and wholly dedicated to our mission of putting our patients’ needs first. To honor them for National Nurse Practitioner Week (National NP Week), we sat down with one of our infusion center nurse practitioners to learn more about what they do each day.
First on the frontlines
Frances Sabio is the resident nurse practitioner for one of our Dallas-Fort Worth-area centers. She also happens to be the first one in the building on most days.
Frances’s morning routine can be, well, routine, but all aspects are focused on giving patients a smooth and worry-free infusion appointment for that day.
“I usually go through all of my ‘opening duties’ when I get there,” Frances said. “You know, checking the fridge, checking oxygen tank levels, making sure the chairs and IV pumps are all ready for the day.
Individual focus on each patient
Frances added that much of what she does each day is evaluation and management of each patient’s case, their medical charts, their lab work and any follow-up information that needs to be gathered.
Because most of her center’s patients pass over her desk at some point, Frances said she really gets to know each patient.
“NPs (nurse practitioners) get to know the patients very well,” Frances said. “Our infusion nurses learn what special accommodations each patient may need, and we make sure to add that to the patient’s chart for next time.”
The goal, always, is for each patient to feel like their needs are met without asking. Sometimes that’s as simple as having a blanket ready for someone who only infuses their therapy once per year. Other times, it can look more like constant vigilance for specific side effects in a weekly patient. Whatever each patient needs, Frances and her center’s other nurses are ready to provide it.
Every patient prepared
Our nurses also understand that infusion therapies can be intimidating at first, especially for someone new to this type of treatment. Most of us are probably used to taking pills, but the idea of having medicine delivered directly into your bloodstream is another thing entirely.
Paragon’s infusion nurses, Frances included, are trained to educate each patient on managing their condition and the basics of their infusions. Of course, no patient should feel uncomfortable with the treatment they’re infusing, but discomfort can often be replaced with knowledge and understanding.
“A lot of patients come to us a little scared, or anxious, or just not really sure what to expect,” Frances said. “That’s completely understandable, so we make sure to talk with them first and set their expectations for what the entire appointment will be like.”
For some patients receiving certain therapies, that could mean appointments that last all day. In such cases, Frances said that simply knowing the plan ahead of time can go a long way to assuaging patients’ anxieties.
Focused on the “why” as much as the “what”
The crucial work that Frances and all of our Paragon nurses do every day isn’t just for its own sake. Our incredible nurses are our frontline of caring personally, relationally, and expertly for our patients. And if you ask Frances, being on that frontline every day can come with blessings of its own.
“My favorite part is seeing the patients, the relief on their face sometimes,” Frances said. “A lot of patients are dying to get these treatments – it’s their lifeline. And when they’re done, you can see that they’re just so, so grateful.”
It’s difficult to put into words any better than Frances. Sometimes, a patient needs life-giving or even life-saving infusions. They also need comforting, personalized care and nurses who truly know them. On both counts, it’s our honor to provide that care.
Paragon specializes in infusion and injection therapies to treat more than 300 different diseases and conditions. We also provide complete nutritional support and Home Infusion services. To learn more about how we can help you or a loved one, please visit www.paragonhealthcare.com.