Michelle Pursley, left, and Tami Bartels are registered nurses and certified chemotherapy/bio-therapy nurses. They are seen here standing beside the new Biological Safety Cabinet inside the hospital’s new chemotherapy services area. (Johnson Publications photo)

New regulations bring upgrades to hospital’s chemotherapy services

    Chase County Hospital has been providing quality chemotherapy services to patients for at least 20 years. With rapidly changing regulations and requirements, the hospital is now providing new equipment and a dedicated space solely for this service.
    The chemotherapy area is comprised of two separate rooms, a “clean room” and a patient treatment room.
    The clean room is an enclosed, sterile space specifically for preparation of the medication. This room houses the new Biological Safety Cabinet which creates a clean air-controlled environment for the safe preparation of hazardous drugs.
    The hazardous drugs can build up and affect the health of medical staff working inside the preparation room. The air exchanges within the clean room equipment, filters any hazardous drug particles,  therefore protecting the staff, said Wendi Nordhausen, R.N., pharmacy coordinator for the hospital.
    The medications are mixed inside the unit, under a hood providing continuous negative pressure which removes any dangerous particles, she said.
    The patient treatment room has a big, comfortable chemo- chair for patients, books to read, patient education information and availability for watching movies. Patients can have an individual stay with them during treatment if they wish.
    There are two nurses who will be working in the chemotherapy area providing treatment for patients. They are Tami Bartels and Michelle Pursley. Both of these women are certified chemotherapy/bio-therapy registered nurses.
    “We’re here to offer this service to patients for their convenience so travel to other locations for treatment isn’t necessary,” said Bartels.
    Bartels and Pursley will be working under the direction of Jamie Hanes, who offers his knowledge and experience as the pharmacist in charge of the Chase County Hospital pharmacy services.
    Anyone with questions or patients wanting to schedule treatments can call the Specialty Clinic, Monday through Friday, at 308-882-7256.
Cancer support group
    The cancer support group will be starting meetings again on Sept. 18 at 4 p.m. in the conference room at Chase County Hospital. The group will continue to meet the third Monday of each month.
    The cancer support group will have the opportunity to tour the new designated chemotherapy area at the first support group meeting next week, said Pursley.
    “We want the community to know we are here for them,” she said.
    Information on the cancer support group can be obtained from Deb Hrcka, cancer support group coordinator, at 308-882-7290 or at dhrcka@chase countyhospital.com.
    “We’re educated, we have the updated facility available and very caring nurses,” said Steve Lewis, hospital CEO.

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