What to Expect
Before your appointment
- Fax us records. Ask your child’s primary care provider to fax us records about your child's overall health and growth. Our fax number is 206-985-3357.
- Provide test results related to your child’s condition. Most of the time, the provider who refers you to Seattle Children’s will send copies of lab results, imaging studies, current list of medicine(s), pathology slides and other helpful information. Ask your provider to send them or bring copies to your appointment.
Learn more about what to do before your appointment.
How long is a first visit, and what can I expect?
For most families, the first visit is at our Hematology and Oncology Clinic, sometimes called "Hem/Onc" (heem-onk). You and your child will meet with several members of the healthcare team
Here is what you can expect:
- Lab appointment. A nurse will draw your child’s blood or place a small tube into their vein. This is called an IV (intravenous) line. Our nurses will offer several numbing options. The lab appointment takes about 20 minutes. Blood test results take about 1 hour.
- Exam with your child’s provider. Depending on your child’s condition, they will see a doctor or nurse practitioner with special training in treating children with cancer and blood disorders. This takes 45 to 90 minutes. Learn more about the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center team.
- Other tests or biopsies. Your child may need other tests such as X-rays or tests of their blood or spit to look for changes in genes. We may need to remove a small piece of tissue to learn more about your child’s condition. This is called a biopsy. Some procedures require medicine (anesthesia) so your child stays still and does not feel pain.
- Meetings with other specialists or a social worker. Your family may meet with other specialists who help care for your child, such as a surgeon, radiation oncologist or radiologist. You may also meet with a social worker, who helps your family deal with the challenges of your child’s condition. Throughout your child’s care, a social worker will connect you to support services and help plan for a hospital stay, if needed.
- Answers to your questions. We will try to answer all your questions. Please ask if anything is not clear.
- Keeping your child’s primary care provider informed. Each provider who sees your child will write notes for your child's medical chart. We will send a copy to your child’s primary care provider. You can usually view these notes online through MyChart.
Will we have a diagnosis after the first visit?
Sometimes the team will be able to talk with you about a likely diagnosis for your child’s condition at the first visit. Often, the diagnosis is not made until after we review all test results. After that, the team will explain your child’s diagnosis and suggest a treatment plan.
What happens at a second-opinion visit
Before your visit:
- Send us your child’s records. Ask your child’s primary care provider or referring provider to fax us records about your child's condition, including lab results, imaging studies and pathology slides. Our fax number is 206-985-3357.
- We will review your child’s medical record before your visit.
During your visit:
You and your child will meet with your child’s healthcare team. Depending on your child’s condition, they will see a provider who specializes in treating children with cancer or blood disorders, a surgeon or radiation oncologist. Learn more about the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center team.
- The provider will examine your child. This takes 45 to 90 minutes.
- Sometimes the provider may order more tests. These may include imaging studies, lab tests or a biopsy.
- We will talk with you about our review of your child’s records and what we find during the visit.
- We will partner with you to determine next steps.
What to bring
- Test results related to your child’s condition, if your child’s primary care provider has not sent them already. This includes results of lab tests and imaging studies. You can call 206-987-2106 to make sure we have received your records.
- Medicines or a list of them. Include nonprescription items like vitamins. Include the name, amount (dose) and instructions.
- Forms you need to have signed by our providers, such as school forms.
- Snacks for your child in case the appointment lasts longer than expected. You may prefer to visit the hospital cafeteria.
- Books, small toys or tablets for your child to play with during their visit. The first clinic appointment may be a longer visit, depending on your child’s needs.
After your appointment
- Before you leave, we will give you detailed instructions about what will happen next.
- Between clinic visits you can call 206-987-2106, option 5 and ask for the triage nurse.
- We will contact you to make the next appointment once we have information from all providers who saw your child at their first visit.
How will we find out about test results?
- We will call you with test results.
- If you have a MyChart account, your results will be added to your child’s medical record. You can view it online by logging in.
What if I need to cancel or reschedule an appointment?
Call 206-987-2106 as soon as possible.
Preparing your child
Learn more about preparing your child for a clinic visit.
Directions, parking and entering
Preparing for a Hospital Stay
- Children who stay overnight to get care for cancer and blood diseases stay in our Cancer and Blood Disorders Center – Inpatient. It has private patient rooms, family lounges and easy access to a fitness gym and garden terrace.
- Find out what you need to know about your child's hospital stay.
- Learn about hospital campus amenities.
Paying for Care
Learn about paying for care at Seattle Children’s, such as coverage, billing and financial assistance.
If you would like an appointment, ask your child’s primary care provider to refer you.
Providers, see how to refer a patient.
Scheduling an appointment
- How to schedule an appointment at Seattle Children’s.
- Learn about resources such as useful links, videos and recommended reading for you and your family.