The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke

Your Guide to Care: Pediatrics | The Pediatric Clinic Visit

To parents/caregivers: This page is directed to your child.  It might be helpful to read through this together so he or she will know what might happen during a clinic visit.

Clinic visits are on the fourth floor of the McGovern-Davison Children’s Health Center, right next to Duke Hospital on Erwin Road.  Once you have checked in at the front desk, have a seat in the waiting room until a nurse calls your name.  Your nurse will take your vital signs—heart rate, weight, blood pressure, etc.—and then take you to an exam room.  During some of your visits you may also go to the lab to have your blood drawn if the doctor has asked for this to be done.  Once you are in a room a number of people may come see you.

Clinic Nurse – A clinic nurse will greet you and may ask you questions, draw blood, or if you have a port or catheter, may give you your medicine or take blood samples from it.

Nurse Practitioner – You will have a primary nurse practitioner that will see you each time you come to the clinic.  The nurse practitioner will examine you, have you tell her how you’ve been since your last visit, and talk about any concerns or answer any questions you may have.  She will also help to schedule any appointments with other doctors that you may need to see during your treatment process.

Fellow – Sometimes, instead of your nurse practitioner, you may see a medical fellow, a doctor preparing for specialized practice.  The fellow will do most of the same things as the nurse practitioner.

Attending Physician – Each time you come to clinic you will meet with the doctor who is in charge of your care.  This doctor will look at the results of your scans and will design a treatment plan for you.  The doctor will almost always be Dr. Gururangan; though in rare cases it may be another neuro-oncologist from the Brain Tumor Center.

Social Worker – During some of your clinic visits the social worker may come talk with you and your family.  Occasionally you may have a separate appointment with her in the Learning Center in Duke South’s Brain Tumor Center offices.  The social worker will have a relationship with you and your family throughout your time with us.

Child Life Specialist – During some of you clinic visits the child life specialist may come see you and your family.  She can answer many of you questions, help prepare you for procedures and tell you about different fun stuff that’s going on.

Hospital School Teacher – If you would like to see the hospital teacher during your clinic visit, please call Trish Peters, M. Ed., at 919-684-4541, or let your nurse practitioner know.

Researcher – In addition to the medical care provided in the clinic, we are also interested in identifying what is helpful to children and their families throughout their treatment. One way to do this is through research.  On occasion, a researcher may come by to talk to you and your parents.  You may be asked to answer questions, or fill out a survey, or take a short test.  Each child and family can decide whether or not you’d like to participate in this type of study.

Depending on your individual schedule and treatment plan you may come to the clinic as often as every day or as little as every six months or more.  Each of the professionals mentioned above are available to you throughout your course of treatment and are happy to help assist you in any way they can.

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