What to Expect on Your First Visit

Guide for Your First Appointment at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center

Patients newly diagnosed with cancer may be very nervous about their first appointment. At UH Seidman Cancer Center, we understand these worries and want to ease the anxiety felt by patients and their loved ones. To help, we offer this overview of what you can expect on your first visit with your cancer care team.

We recommend for all visits that patients have a friend, family member or caregiver accompany them. Many times another person can help with writing down information, listening for specific instructions and asking questions that the patient may not have considered. They also are a great support system throughout treatment and beyond.

Patients should plan on their first appointment lasting an hour or longer. Most often at your first visit you will:

  • Check in at the front desk. You will be asked to show your photo ID and health insurance card and make a co-payment, if needed.
  • Fill out and sign any needed paperwork. Please bring your completed health history form with you, or you may complete it while waiting.
  • Have your vital signs checked. Vital signs include your temperature, pulse, breathing rate, blood pressure, height and weight.
  • Tell us what medicines you take. More than one staff member may review this information with you.
  • Meet with the health care team. Besides your doctor, you may also speak with a nurse, social worker, nurse practitioner, physician assistant and/or other doctors.
  • Talk with your doctor to discuss your plan of care and any questions you have.
  • Have your blood drawn, if needed.
  • Speak with our check-out staff to schedule any needed follow-up visits and/or tests.

Other Important Information about Your Visit

Other things you may want to be aware of prior to your visit include:

  • Wait times to see a doctor can vary. If you have been waiting to see your doctor for more than 10 minutes past your scheduled appointment, please tell the front desk staff.
  • You may be asked to fill out paperwork while you are here, and your health care team may ask you many questions. We apologize for any inconvenience, but these steps are part of the process to learn more about you.
  • You may want to bring items to help pass the time while you are waiting, such as a book or magazine, or your tablet or laptop computer. Our WiFi service is free.
  • Not all patients seen at the UH Seidman Cancer Center have cancer. Some patients have blood problems that are not cancer, such as anemia or Sickle Cell Disease.
  • Before you leave, make sure:
    • All your questions have been answered (See our Questions to Ask the Doctor page)
    • You know what your follow-up plan is
    • You know who you can call if you have questions or concerns