Patient & Family Education Materials

Start over with a New Search

Oncology caregiver education tool

The members of your care team will help to personalize this tool, and will help you complete it.

Special notes (learning style, family needs, best times for education):


Recommended pages in COG Family Handbook to review: 1-2, 44-47, 50-61, 75-81


  Date Family

Blood Counts

___ Basic understanding of Hgb, WBC, ANC, Plts: why counts decrease, importance of keeping accurate record
___ Review:  Updated blood count sheet & place count sheet in Oncology Family Handbook at discharge



___ Signs of anemia
___ Blood transfusions
___ Refer family to view the "Blood Transfusion Information" video located on the Patient/Family Resources web page
___ Review: PFEM: Blood Transfusion: Care at Home
                  PFEM: Blood Transfusion Information



___ Signs of infection
___ When to avoid crowds, wear your mask, immunizations
___ Chicken-pox exposure
___ Wash hands frequently, bathe daily, good oral cares, good peri-anal cares, avoid constipation (especially if receiving Vincristine), remove/change band-aids daily
___ Give & Review Use:

  • Masks
  • Thermometer
  • Soft toothbrush


___ Signs of Thrombocytopenia
___ Precautions for low platelets
___ Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen and combination medications
___ Nose bleeds (pressure at soft area of nose, head bent forward, when to call)
___ Head 'Bumps' and Falls (what to look for and when to call providers)
___ Platelet transfusions


Chemotherapy & Side Effects, Roadmap  

___ Expected nadir
___ Using gloves at home for 48 hours after chemo - if changing diapers, body fluid contact (vomit, urine/stool)
___ Managing nausea, hair loss, pain, avoid sun, use sun block
___ Review: PFEM: Safe Handling of Hazardous Drugs
___ Review: PFEMs for patient specific chemo meds and rescue meds
___ Review: ROADMAP with each visit.  If expected methotrexate admission, be sure to avoid medications that interact prior to admission.


When/How to Call the Provider

___ Emergency: CALL 9-1-1
___ Change in your child's condition (see home magnet, d/c instructions, etc.): Call clinic/provider on-call.  Expect a call back within 20 min., or call again.  DO NOT WAIT.
___ General information: group questions, call within office hours
___ How to contact interpreter if needed: ___________________________
___ Review ED letter in Family Handbook (if going to an ED other than Children's)


Home Medications

___ Be able to list & have a basic understanding of home meds, effects & side-effects
___ Bring home medications to each clinic or hospital visit
___ Tylenol- use sparingly at home, don’t want to mask fevers, have other options for pain control.
___ Give & Review:

  • Medications ordered for home, calendars or chart if appropriate
  • PEG reaction kit if needed
  • Medication box, pill cutter, weekly box if needed
  • PFEMs as needed:  (Anesthetic Cream, Medication Safety, etc)

Central Line Cares

___ Tunneled catheters: Dressing changes, cap changes, flushing, what to do if line breaks, s/s of infection, solving problems
___ Implanted PORTs: Use of EMLA/LMX cream, s/s of infection
___ Home Care vs. Inpatient – supplies and techniques may look different and it’s OK!

___ Give & Review:

  • PFEM: Central Venous Catheter: Care at Home
  • PFEM: Implanted PORT and/or Implanted PORT: Care at Home (if family will be accessing PORT, giving meds or de-accessing at home)
  • PFEM: Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter: Care at Home
  • Home Supplies:
    – PORT: LMX cream, foam tape
    – PICC & Tunneled catheters: are home supplies being delivered to hospital or home?
    – PICC & Tunneled: Emergency Kit

Subcutaneous Medications (G-CSF, Leuprolide, Enoxaparin)

___ Consult with Care Manager; will medication be unit dose or will medication need to be drawn from a vial?

___ Give & Review:

  • PFEM: Injections (subcutaneous)
  • PFEM: Insuflon (indwelling subcutaneous catheter) at home

Enteral feedings: NG tube, G-tube, NJ tube

___ Give & Review:

  • PFEM: Gastrostomy Care: G-J tube (obtain from family resource center)
  • PFEM: Gastrostomy Care: G-tube (obtain from family resource center)
  • PFEM: Naso-gastric tube feeding

Age/developmental concerns:



Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Last reviewed 8/2015 ©Copyright

**Place in Oncology Family Handbook at discharge

Back To Top

This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Family Resource Center library, or visit

© 2018 Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota