Communication Tips

Tips to Communicate with your Child’s Pediatrician

Be Organized

  • Keep a record of your child’s symptoms, including fever, how long your child has been sick and any medicines given (dose and time given)
  • Highlight any items that are particularly worrisome
  • Write down questions you want to ask
  • Think about any concerns you have about your child’s development, mental health, eating or sleeping habits, social skills or behavior

Identify Goals for Each Visit

  • Well Checks are a good time to voice concerns about your child’s development or other age-appropriate milestones or behaviors
  • At a sick visit, provide as much information as possible about the symptoms you have seen. Ask questions if you do not understand your pediatrician’s explanation, tests ordered, or medicines prescribed.

What to Bring to the Visit

  • Current medicines, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, herbal supplements, vitamins or other alternative therapies. Request refills, if needed
  • List allergies and any previous reactions, including allergies to certain medicines
  • Prior medicines, and why they didn’t work
  • Recent test results, including any done at an urgent care facility, an emergency room or retail clinic such as Minute Clinic. Include dates and locations. Always ask for copies of your test results so you can have them for your own files.
  • Changes in symptoms since your child’s last visit
  • Questions specific to that day, that visit

Making the Most of Your Visit

  • Arrive on time
  • Bring a toy, book or comfort article to entertain your child so you can talk to the care provider
  • Be clear and descriptive when explaining your child’s symptoms or asking questions
  • Describe any changes in your child’s behavior
  • Make sure your questions are answered and you feel comfortable with answers received
  • Please do not use your mobile phone in the pediatrician’s office or exam room. This is distracting to everyone involved, and you want to be certain you have understood all questions, instructions and next steps

Talking About Pain

  • Whether your child can describe pain or not, you are the best judge of how uncomfortable your child may be
  • Don’t hesitate to tell the pediatrician about your child’s discomfort, or have your child speak for himself

Speak Up

  • You are your child’s best advocate
  • You have the right to understand the diagnosis, medicines, tests and the risks and options of each

Before You Leave

  • Ask the pediatrician for written instructions
  • Summarize the visit and clarify your questions. Don’t leave without fully understanding the summary and treatment

After-Hours

  • Most pediatricians offer a nurse advice line with a registered nurse available to answer questions or a physician on-call after-hours.
  • Regardless of who you speak with after-hours, be clear and descriptive when communicating your child’s condition or symptoms
  • Have your drug store pharmacy number available in case a prescription needs to be ordered

This information is provided merely as a guideline and does not include all possible situations in which you might interact with your pediatrician.  

 

copyright 2021 Kids Health First Pediatric Alliance. All Rights Reserved.
770-333-0033
2480 Briarcliff Road, Suite 6-334 
Atlanta, GA 30329
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