Consultation with any healthcare professional about a health concern can be quite daunting and worrying. This is even more so if you are a parent taking your child to see someone. However, as with all things in life there are some ways to make the experience of your child doctor consultation less anxiety inducing for you and your child. Here are 5 tips for getting the best out of you time with your doctor.
1.Get there early.
Getting anywhere late makes us feel stressed. Feeling stressed can prevent us from remembering important facts when we are talking to the doctor about our child’s concerns. Just being at the appointment 5 mins early can give us that time to settle down and think more clearly. In this frame of mind we are much more likely to remember all we want to discuss with the doctor.
2.Try not to stress to much if the doctor is running late
Having got there early, if the doctor is then running late will make you feel even more frustrated. But some ways to handle this is to understand that doctors are generally conscious of time but will spend longer with a patient (maybe the one just in front of you) if there is a clinical concern. Please don’t think that we do not care about you waiting; that is rarely the case. You can prepare for the possibility of delay by bringing a book or any other form of entertainment for you and your child. This can be especially useful if there is anxiety already about the appointment itself
3.Check with your child the details about the symptoms they are experiencing
Like many of us, children often become shy when faced with a stranger; especially one asking a number of questions. It can help to have had a brief conversation with your child about what they are experiencing. This can include a talk about what symptoms they are having, where they ere experiencing them, how long they have had them for and if they are getting worse. This can really help you and your child feel more clear about what is going on and feel more confident in answering questions asked by the doctor. We have many of the common conditions we deal with listed on our patient information page for your information and to help you understand some of the symptoms your child may be experiencing.
4.Benefit from the opportunity to explain your concerns
As a parent it can sometimes feel as if you are navigating many things alone. One of the good outcomes in attending the doctor is an opportunity you have been waiting for to talk to someone about concerns that you have maybe held inside for a while. Talking alone can be cathartic and therefore taking the opportunity to explain your concerns and be heard is something that you can gain some personal insight from.
5.Think ahead about any questions you or your child may may have.
One of the things that visiting the doctor can give you is an opportunity to is ask questions that have been swirling around in your mind. However, it is not unusual for you to be sitting in the consultation room and completely forget questions that were so worrying to you beforehand. It is a good idea to write down some of the questions that you may have in the lead up to your consultation with the doctor. Also, if only one parent/guardian is able to attend the appointment and another member of the family has questions it is a good idea to write these down as well. Your child will likely have questions and in reality no question is too simple or should be considered stupid. Therefore, talking to your child about what questions they may have prior to the consultation can also help to make it more clear what your child’s primary concerns. It also means that if the doctor forgets to ask you if you have any other questions you can feel empowered to ask these questions because you have prepared them beforehand.
Needing to go to the doctor can in itself be something that makes anybody feel anxious and concerned. Taking a few moments to prepare for that consultation means that you and your child get the best out of the consultation and come away feeling more heard.