The Day Oncology Unit specialises in the care of patients with cancer and blood disorders.
What do we do?
The highly-trained oncology nurses work alongside the Oncologist/ Haematologist to provide treatment, specialised care, support and expertise.
This includes blood product support, chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
In addition to the latest equipment and highly-trained staff, the Day Oncology Unit has been designed to meet patient’s needs with comfortable chairs.
Volunteers are on hand to assist with a cup of tea, a snack or a chat.
Entertainment devices, such as IPad’s, magazines, newspapers and TV’s are also available to you.
What can you expect?
Pre-chemotherapy planning and support.
Once you have seen an Oncologist/ Haematologist and a treatment option has been discussed, Day Oncology will organise an education session for you and your support team. At this appointment, you will meet with an oncology-trained nurse, who will:
- Provide information about your treatment plan, how it’s given and how to manage any potential side effects.
- Provide information on who you can contact, if you have any concerns, this includes an after-hours contact number.
- Provide your next appointment time.
- Show you around the BRICC building and the Day Oncology Unit, and meet some of the staff.
- Organise any referrals, medication scripts or medical certificates.
- Take you to pharmacy to discuss pre and discharge medications, including complementary therapy medications.
This appointment will take up to one and a half hours.
Take notes and ask all your questions. There are no wrong questions. If you are not clear, keep asking until you are.
Let your nurse know how much information you want to know, when you want to learn it, and when you have learned enough. Some people want to learn everything they can about cancer and its treatment. Others only want a little information. The choice is yours.
Commonly Asked Questions
How do I prepare myself for my treatment?
- Organise transport, childcare options and support persons.
- Be well hydrated, keep warm and ensure that you have eaten.
- Pack a bag of entertainment options and favourite snacks, particularly if there are dietary requirements.
- Ensure your support person has thought about their meal options. You as the patient are provided with light meal and snack options.
- Ensure you have had your requested pathology test done pre-treatment.
- If you are giving up smoking, you might need to organise nicotine patches.
Is there a cost?
There is no cost for treatment, only for discharge medications and maybe for parking options.
Can I choose my appointment times?
Patient appointment times are allocated between 8:30am and 4:00pm, Monday to Friday, according to clinical need.
We do try to accommodate appointment requests as much as possible, however, due to the many complicated treatment regimens and the large numbers of patients attending the unit, we may not be able to change the appointment time that has been allocated to you.
We ask for your understanding, and that you come to your allocated appointment time.
Location and Directions
The first floor of the BRICC (Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre) building, off the Sturt Street entrance.
Please report to the receptionist on the first floor. They will direct you to the waiting areas.
Treatment day in Day Oncology
Each time you come for your treatment, please let the receptionist know that you have arrived. They will direct you either to the clinic waiting room for your Oncologist/ Haematologist appointment, or to the Day Oncology Unit waiting area.
Your Nurse will greet you and take you into the treatment area.
Once you have been weighed, you will be seated on a specially-designed recliner chair to allow you to be as comfortable as possible during treatment.
After checking your blood test results, the Nurse will ask you some questions about any medical problems you have, and particularly any side effects of the treatment you are receiving.
Your Nurse will then check your pulse rate and blood pressure, and insert an intravenous line. Saline will be administered through the line until the chemotherapy is ready.
Treatment length will vary according to your individual treatment regime.
Treatment can cause a lot of anxiety, particularly the first one, so it is good to have someone with you. It also gives you another set of ears regarding instructions about what to do after leaving the Day Oncology Unit.
Report to the Day Oncology receptionist to collect your next appointment.
Go to pharmacy to collect your discharge medications and instructions.
Post Treatment Care
Each person experiences chemotherapy differently, both physically and emotionally. Many will also experience side effects from chemotherapy differently, particularly as different chemotherapy drugs cause different side effects.
Fortunately, as the science of cancer treatment has advanced, so has the science of managing treatment side effects. Whatever you experience, remember there is no relationship between how the chemotherapy makes you feel and whether you derive benefit from it.
Side effect reaction times are also very individual. Some people will have a lot of side effects, others will have none or very few side effects. They may occur on the same day of treatment, or a few days post treatment.
- Continue to be active.
- Maintain a well-balanced diet and adequate sleep. Be prepared to have a short “nana nap “each day if required.
- Avoid continually talking about your cancer. Put a time limit on any discussions/ questions with friends and family. There is more to you than your cancer.
- Take help when it is offered.
- Be careful when you are in the sun. Wear a hat with a wide brim. Use sunscreen with SPF 50 on any exposed skin.
Transport and Parking
You are encouraged to organise your own transport to and from the Day Oncology Unit for each treatment.
The BRICC has very limited transport assistance available and is only available for patients if they have no other options.
Transport may be organised through your local councils/ shires.
- Via the hospital car park - accessed from Mair Street
- Costs $4 for the first hour and $2 for every hour after, up to $16 a day
- Street parking - do a Google search for 'parking in Ballarat' for cost options and parking restrictions
The BRICC has a patient drop off point at the Sturt Street entrance, with wheelchairs available for use.
Taxis are available out the front of the Sturt Street entrance of the BRICC building.
Staff and volunteers are able to arrange a taxi booking for you if there are no taxi’s available.
There is also a payphone situated inside the Sturt Street entrance, at the BRICC reception area.
Ballarat Base Hospital - BRICC
1 Drummond Street North
Ballarat VIC 3350
First floor of BRICC (Ballarat Integrated Cancer Centre) off the Sturt Street entrance
8:30am - 5:00pm
Monday to Friday
Closed on public holidays and weekends
Please report to reception on the first floor of BRICC
Have something to tell us? We welcome all feedback from patients, family members or carers. Tell us more.