We hope you have a positive experience when you come to the Duke Cancer Center, whether you are here for treatment, accompanying a loved one, or visiting a patient. Here you'll learn how to make your visit more comfortable and convenient. You'll find clear directions on where to find parking, dining, banking, area lodging, translation, and other essential services. Please note that visitor information will be different depending on where you or a loved one are receiving treatment.
If you prefer to have a printed copy of this information with you, you can download a Reference Guide to Your Care at Duke Cancer Center (PDF, 1.8 MB). It contains maps, directions, a summary of services and other pertinent information regarding patient appointments at Duke Cancer Center.
Important Phone Numbers
In an emergency, call 911.
For non-urgent matters and to make an appointment, contact Duke's Consultation and Referral Center: 888-275-3853.
For general information about the Duke Cancer Center: 919-613-1909.
If you are a referring physician, call 800-633-3853.
Many clinical programs and locations within the Duke Cancer Institute have individual phone numbers for making appointments and referring patients. Browse the list of locations to find the appropriate phone number to call for your needs.
General Visitation Guidelines
In the course of the visit, it may be clinically or otherwise reasonably necessary for patient care, safety, or well-being to impose restrictions on visitation.
The physician or care nurse will exercise their clinical judgment to determine when restrictions are necessary for these purposes. If visitation restrictions are implemented, the reason for restrictions will be shared with the patient or support person and documented in the patient’s medical record.
The following are intended as examples of valid reasons to limit visitation if deemed necessary:
Patient is undergoing care interventions with which visitation may interfere
Infection control issues
Visitation may interfere with the care of other patients
Existence of court orders restrict visitation or other contact
Disruptive, threatening, or violent behavior by a visitor of any kind
Need for limitation on the number of visitors in particular space or during a specific time period
Minimum age requirement for child visitors
Children under 12 may not be left unattended
However, under special circumstances, a child under 12 can be granted visiting privileges by oncology leadership
Babies of breastfeeding mothers are allowed as long as the mother is present at all times
If mom is the patient it is recommended that another adult be present to help with the baby
If a patient is receiving treatment (radiation or chemotherapy) and brings children to the treatment there must be another responsible adult present to care for the child while the parent is getting treatment
Issues Related to Infection Control
While recognizing that family and friends can play an important role in a patient’s recovery, the Hospital Infection Control Committee makes the following infection control recommendation for visitors.
Hand hygiene by washing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based sanitizer should be done before entering and upon exiting a room.
Duke medical and nursing personnel are empowered to exclude any person from accompanying a patient at Duke who has symptoms of a communicable disease until cleared by their personal physician or Duke medical personnel.
In the best interest of the patient, visitors (adults or children) who are currently ill or have had a fever, conjunctivitis, symptoms, or gastrointestinal illness or respiratory infections within the last 24 hours should not be allowed to visit until they have been symptom-free for at least 24 hours.
Visitors who have been exposed to a communicable disease to which they are not immune should not visit until a physician has determined that they are past the incubation period and deemed noninfectious. This includes such diseases as chickenpox and measles.
Visitors must wear shoes and shirts at all times while in the cancer center.
Persons visiting a patient that has been placed on airborne, contact, or droplet isolation should report to the nurses’ station before entering the patient’s room to receive proper education on the precautions they must take and the use of personal protective equipment when visiting the patient
Children 12 and over visiting patients in isolation (contact, droplet, or airborne) must:
Be able to properly wear the personal protective equipment required for the type of isolation indicated
The parent or guardian accepts responsibility to ensure the child can and does properly wear the personal protective equipment
The parent or guardian must remain with the child at all times during the visit
Excessive Number of Guests
It is recommended to limit the number of people accompanying a patient to respect the privacy and health care needs of our patients.
Children under 12 should not be left unattended.
We recommend that no more than two visitors (over the age of 12) visit patients in the oncology treatment room area at a time.
In the event a visitor becomes uncooperative, disturbing, threatening, or presents a safety risk to patients, visitors, or staff; the visitor may be prohibited from the visit.
When you register, you will be asked if you would like to enroll in Duke’s PatientSecure Program. The PatientSecure palm vein biometric identification system is one of the many ways we work to ensure that every patient has the best experience possible.
The system is designed to ensure your safety, protect your privacy, speed up the registration process, and make your future visits more convenient.
PatientSecure identifies patients by scanning the vein pattern of the palms of their hands. The scanner uses harmless light to identify your unique vein pattern to create an encrypted and protected digital file, which is linked to your unique medical record.
Your Feedback is Important to Us
Our goal is to provide you with high-quality care and an outstanding patient experience. To help serve you better and to identify opportunities for improvement, we depend on the feedback of our patients. About two weeks after your appointment you may receive in the mail a patient satisfaction survey. Please take a few moments to complete the survey and return it in the postage-paid envelope provided.
If your feedback is urgent or if you wish to speak with someone, please contact our patient advocates at 919-681-2020.