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What to expect when you attend the rheumatology clinic

The Outpatient Department is a busy place, with clinics running for a wide range of specialties, including rheumatology. There are also likely to be a number of different rheumatology clinics running simultaneously.

The Outpatient Nurses and Patient Service Assistants work together with the Rheumatology Team to ensure your visit is as smooth as possible.

On your arrival in the Outpatient Department you should approach the front desk and will be greeted by a Patient Service Assistant who will seat you in the appropriate clinic area. Following this the Outpatient Nurse assigned to your clinic may take your blood pressure, weight and height and you may be asked to provide a urine specimen for testing.

At the time of your appointment the Doctor or Specialist Nurse will call you into their consulting room.

You should expect to receive a clinical assessment which will usually include a range of questions and a physical examination. You may be asked to fill in a questionnaire related to your condition.

We work as a team and so you may see the Consultant, Specialist Nurse or other members of the medical or nursing staff, and this person may be different at each clinic visit, although we do try to limit this as much as possible. There may also be a medical or nursing students present as these clinics are an important part of their education.

Whilst we will try our best to keep to time, some consultations can take longer than expected, so there may be delays to your appointment time.

Further tests, for example a blood test or an x-ray may be suggested during your consultation and usually can take place after your appointment. This may add to the length of time you are at the hospital.

In some circumstances the Doctor or Specialist Nurse may recommend administering a therapeutic injection either into a joint or an intramuscular injection which may be given by the Outpatient Nurse.

We understand that sometimes it is difficult to recall all the information provided to you during your consultation, so we have a range of written material and information leaflets and resources available in the clinic area that the staff may give to you or you can help yourself.

If you need to make a further appointment this can be done at the front desk on leaving the department.

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While contagious viruses are active year-round, winter is a prime time for norovirus, colds, influenza (flu), and other respiratory illnesses.

 

These infections are highly contagious, so we urge people to stay away unless their visit is absolutely essential to help reduce the spread of infection within our hospitals.

Hospitals are full of sick people, many of them frail and elderly, so bringing germs into a hospital is the worst thing you can do.  We have an active programme of infection prevention but we can’t spot visitors who really shouldn’t be here.  Please stay at home if you’re unwell to help aid the wellbeing and recovery of our patients.