I usually reflect the question back on them. I say things like "How was your treatment plan explained to you?" or "What are your goals for care?" If it's their first round of chemo (I work on a hem-onc floor), I'll get them the educational booklets from the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. I let them know the booklets are a good starting point, and that the websites have more information. I also encourage them to write down any questions they have while reading so that they are prepared during the next visit with their hematologist.
That's crazy Emergent!! I can't believe the medical staff doesn't have the various codes covered during their orientation.
Code blue seems universal, but some of the other codes vary from state to state. For instance, Code grey was also used for a violent person in North Carolina, but means "weather alert" in Ohio.
And Jedrnurse, we have a Code Brown in Ohio--it means "missing adult". Maybe someone forgot to check the bathrooms before panicking?? :)
I would start with focusing on neutropenic precautions. There are some great guidelines on ONS, as well as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The latter has great educational materials for patients/families as well.
Basics are no fresh fruits or vegetables, no live flowers, no sick visitors/masking, and a mask on the patient at all times when they leave the room.
Fever in neutropenic patients (any temp > 100.4) is a medical emergency. We pan culture, and give stat broad spectrum antibiotics within 1 hour.
ONS should have guidelines for the care of thrombocytopenic patients as well. We educate our patients on mouth care, monitor for signs of bleeding, don't give heparin to anyone with a platelet count
It's worth saying that anyone who has received chemo within 48 hours should be on chemo precautions. Take a look at the websites I mentioned, and best of luck as you develop your care standards!