Heartland Oncology & Hematology

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have the option of changing my appointment if needed?

We're happy to accommodate appointment changes as needed. We understand that sometimes appointments may be made in advance of your knowledge of priority events.

It is important to stress that in studies, patients receiving chemotherapy have shown to have the best outcomes when they stayed on their treatment schedule as closely as possible. Our doctors and nurses work with you to help make this possible. Our doctors and nurses work with you to help make this possible.

Will I receive results of my lab work the same day as my appointment?

Our laboratory machines are able to provide almost immediate results for blood counts, some chemistry panels and groups of tests necessary for the doctor to order the chemotherapy. Tests for blood clotting and routine urine tests results are also immediately available.

Some tests may be ordered that need 1-3 days for results. These include tests that indicate whether or not your chemotherapy is working or cancer is active. Tests that could take a week or longer include some genetic testing and bone marrow aspiration results among others.

Can I drive myself to appointments?

You will be able to drive yourself most of the time. If you're scheduled for a bone marrow aspiration procedure we ask that you ask someone to drive you. It's always a good idea to bring a driver for your first chemotherapy treatments, as some medications may cause drowsiness.

Not only is it comforting to have a loved one with you, it's helpful to have another person to hear what you're hearing as the doctors and nurses give you information and instructions.

After you're familiar with how you're feeling, you can determine if you are able to drive.

Can I eat or drink prior to appointments?

Rarely does the physician require that you fast for lab tests. You will be informed with specific instructions if that is required for you.

Otherwise, patients can eat or drink as they wish prior to appointments whether or not they are receiving chemotherapy or other treatments. Chemotherapy patients are especially encouraged to eat and drink.

May I bring food, drinks, or my other medications to my chemo appointment?

Yes you may. We also have Room Service available from the Jennie Edmundson hospital cafeteria for patients at our Council Bluffs office. Inquire to the staff if you have an interest.

May my family or loved ones be with me during my chemotherapy?

We encourage family and loved ones to be present during the initial treatment for support and to fully understand what is involved. This holds true for any treatment changes that may be required in the future.

However, for follow-up treatments we ask that family stay in the reception area. This allows space for other new patients to have their family, helps nurses be better able to watch and care for their patients and also gives our patients opportunity to communicate with other patients and their nurses.

Are your nurses' trained in cancer and giving chemotherapy?

Yes, our exceptional staff of "Oncology Certified” nurses have a combined 100 years of experience. They must keep their certification updated by meeting the minimum requirement of 100 hours of in depth specialized training every four years.