Friday, August 16, 2013

Neurology Infusion Center: A feeling of family


COMPASSIONATE CARE: Tierno answers a call in the infusion center.


When a patient visits the MGH Neurology Infusion Center it doesn’t feel like a hospital setting, says Cheryl Tierno, RN. “Because we see patients so frequently – often up to five times per month – they become a part of our family and are treated like family. Even patients develop relationships with other patients. It’s very unique. I love my job and look forward to coming to work every day.”

Tierno has worked for the MGH for 30 years and has been with the Neurology Infusion Center since its 2006 inception. The center is an ambulatory outpatient unit that delivers infusion and intravenous (IV) services to patients, ages 18 and older, who have a variety of neurological disorders. On average, the unit sees 12 to 14 patients per day but more referrals from MGH clinicians for ambulatory patients are welcome. The infusion center offers intravenous immunoglobulin, monoclonal antibody therapy, steroids and low-dose chemotherapy agents for patients with autoimmune disorders, enzyme therapy for lysosomal storage disease and hydration treatments for patients with complex medical issues.

“We are really trying to reach out to the entire MGH community,” says Tierno. “We originally opened our services to other departments and are now working with rheumatology, immunology, dermatology and GI. We look forward to providing infusion services to other departments in the future.”

The infusion center is equipped with eight reclining chairs, individual LCD TVs, wireless internet access and a private room. But as the center’s practice manager Melissa Thurston Appleton points out, the calm and inviting setting is secondary to the compassionate care. “When patients come here they receive not only excellent physical care but also emotional care. Nurses guide them through the process, answer their questions and form a really nice partnership. That’s how it is throughout the MGH and that’s what patients say makes a difference to them and what’s special about the infusion center.”

For more information about the Neurology Infusion Center, located on the eighth floor of 165 Cambridge St., please call 617-726-3644.

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