In 2004, the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center launched a unique concept in patient education and empowerment: The Skills Lab. The goal of this interactive area is to equip the cancer patient with the tools needed to participate in his or her own treatment and recovery.
Because treatment often extends beyond the walls of the hospital, patients and caregivers need basic skills such as connecting, disconnecting and caring for the catheters and pumps used for the administration of chemotherapy drugs, changing dressings, and administering injections. These are just a few examples of procedures that are taught in the Skills Lab, where the focus is on reducing much of the uneasiness of performing these tasks at home. The Skills Lab works with a variety of home care insurance providers to coordinate coverage for equipment and services. In addition, Home Med Infusion, a U-M authorized provider, is another available option.
The nurse educator in the Skills Lab will also provide an orientation by phone prior to the initial visit to the infusion area, answering questions about what to expect, what to bring along, who may accompany the patient for the infusion appointment, pharmacy procedures, parking and transport specifics. During this phone consultation, the Skills Lab nurse will also review what medical records will be needed, making the first infusion treatment as efficient as possible.
The consultation with a Skills Lab nurse can be scheduled by a doctor or nurse on the patient's care team during your clinic visit prior to beginning chemotherapy. For more information or to make an appointment, please call 877-907-0859.