Home » A closer look at the cancer and hematology centers
Transcript: I’m ZoAnn Dreyer, I’m one of the physicians. I am part of your team. I’m Shelly, I’m one of the nurses and I’m on your team. My name is Dana Swan and I’m a Child Life Specialist and I am part of the team. I’m Aisha Jones and I’m a Social Worker. I am part of your team.
What happens in the Cancer and Hematology Centers clinic?
Usually we see about 130 kids a day in clinic. Some of those kids will have cancer and some will have blood disorders. Some may come frequently, several times a week. Some may come once a month. Some may come for one visit. When you get to the check-in desk they’ll give you some papers to fill out and give you a little flashing disk that will help to tell you where you need to go on your next step. If you have a checkup with a provider that day, a doctor, or a nurse practitioner on the day of your visit, you will probably go straight to the pod area. We call those “The Pods” where children are examined. And there are four different areas. These pods are sort of home base for patients if you are here just for a blood count. You’ll go to Band-Aid Junction. It’s a big beautiful room, its got a big beautiful fish tank and wonderfully trained people who are specialist in drawing blood from children. And what’s terrific about having our own phlebotomists, or blood drawers right here in our clinic. Once they draw that blood, we take that blood across the hall, literally just across the hall where it’s processed in our own big cancer center lab. And normally we have all the results of your blood count within 10 to 15, sometimes 20 minutes. Some children will come and just go to our Infusion Center where they might get some IV fluids or a blood transfusion or some chemotherapy. The Ronald McDonald House of Houston very generously supports a kitchen for us in our clinic. You can use that room whenever you want during the day.
Who are the members of my child’s care team?
We have a lot of different members of our staff and they have different roles and they’ll be involved in your family in different ways. Our medical assistants are a key part of our team. They keep us organized, they bring patients back into rooms, they help us with getting vitals, and getting some basic history information. Patient Care Coordinators are assigned based on the diagnosis of the patient and they are very in tune working very closely with the medical providers. My goal as a Child Life Specialist is to help the patients here understand what is about to happen to them and to help them under why they are coming and we do that through a lot of medical play, or we can do that through diagnosis teaching and helping explain to them in a developmentally appropriate way what’s going on with their bodies and why they have to come here. As Social Workers, we work with families as they adjust to the diagnosis and the course for treatment and we just work with families to empower them throughout the journey of treatment we focus on making this not just about an illness but about their journey.
Where do we go in case of an emergency?
The Urgent Care Bay is a mini emergency room right here in our clinic. The idea is that we’re here for you so that you can avoid going to the emergency room as much as possible during the workday.
Will my child ever have a procedure during an appointment?
We use our Post-Anesthesia Care Unit to do procedures that will allow them to have tests and not remember what’s going on and also not experience discomfort.
Where do we park for an appointment?
It’s probably best if you talk with your social worker about the parking options that might work best for your family.
Will my child have activities to keep him or her busy during a clinic visit?
A really important thing that we do here in clinic is to try to entertain the children and make the day be a happy one for them. We have an incredible arts and medicine program, they bring in professionals four of five days of the week. Someone like that will show up so that your child is exposed to an incredible amount of culture just while they’re here in clinic. We have an actual musical studio right here in clinic that’s called “Purple Hearts Can Fly”.
Why should I feel confident in my child’s care at the Cancer and Hematology Centers?
Each child is an individual and is cared for in a unique way and just that we know you’re here and we know you’re important and we are going to do this together. Coming here you feel like you’re coming to see family, you’re treated like family. This is an amazing place. If there is any place to be to take care of your child, this is the place to be. The one message that I hope to convey to every parent, to every patient is that they’re not alone in this fight and that I’m here to be part of their team to be a resource and a support to them. As a parent you can feel so confident in the care your child will receive here at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center’s because you are surround by people who are here just to take care of your child. We can’t wait to see you get through this, we can’t see your children grow up, and we’ll be here for you every step of the way.