R.S. McLaughlin Durham Regional Cancer Centre
A cancer diagnosis is shocking news as the views of cancer have changed little over the years while treatment procedures and the number of cures have changed also.
Cancer patients attending the Lakeridge Health Durham Regional Cancer Centre may have reason to be optimistic given the operation and management of this particular treatment centre.
The Cancer Department is located on the main and basement floors just steps away from the front entranceway. ‘Two floors’ says something about the size of the department and the number of patients. Cancer may or may not be a growing industry, but cancer diagnosis is definitely improving and that is likely the chief reason for the increase in the number of patients.
This cancer department deserves high regard and much praise. All told, the department deserves rave reviews.
Managed by Christine Black, this cancer center is the epitome of efficiency and effectiveness.
Technology is everywhere from the check in system which can be accessed by computer from anywhere to the various machines used throughout the department. CTscan, Bone density scanners, MRI machines, ultrasound systems, all of these technologies are used here and in the latest iteration.
Patient Check in system
The digital check-in system has connections to every corner of the department so that staff members can monitor, regulate and update patient information easily and quickly. Within minutes of swiping one’s health card and completing the check in questionnaire, sitting time in the waiting area seems to never exceed a couple of minutes. In fact, the system is so good and with six radiation therapy rooms in operation, early arrivals may unexpectedly have their appointment times bumped up immediately. Quite surprising when compare to wait times in some doctors’ offices.
There are reception desks on both floors for patients who may find digital check in challenging or who cannot use the system.
To a person, every staff member is dressed professionally, hospital uniform or some derivation of such. Head scarves, COVID masked, and each wearing rubber soled sneakers that retain the quiet of the department.
Waiting areas and change rooms
Each pair of radiation therapy rooms adjacent to one another has a wait seating area for five patients who sit in front of change rooms located behind a privacy screening wall. Patients can change in small private rooms and store their things in wooden doored lockers adjacent to the changing rooms.
Wait times are incredibly short, never more than five minutes likely because of the check in system at the entry.
Staff vary in bedside manner, some seem cheery and personable while others seem focused on a professional efficient-appearing demeanor. Every staff person projects a feeling of concern and interest in how the patient is doing and their individual physical and psychological well-being. Directives are succinct and to the point. Treatment is efficient and systematic. In the case of prostate cancer patients, treatment is over in less than ten minutes.
At the end of the corridor away from the treatment rooms, there are small sitting areas where patients meet with their senior oncology support team for radiation reviews. Again, small offices allow the doctors or nurse assistants to meet privately with patients undergoing reviews.