Your child’s school sends you an email saying that your little one needs their vaccine records updated before being allowed to complete registration for the next school year. You then call your child’s pediatrician, who gets you the earliest possible appointment and tells you that you had to be “squeezed in” as it is that busy time of the year.
You check in on the scheduled day, get your child’s annual physical done, and quickly leave; then sit in your car and remember the millions of questions you could have asked the doctor just when you had the opportunity.
Or did you…? If this sounds like you, read on, my friend.
As a mom, I hear you. Just going to the grocery with your little one can make you forget what you were there for—and trying to get the most out of a single doctor’s visit while your center of attention is another human being at that moment? It definitely can be challenging.
Here are some helpful tips to make the most out of your trip to the doctor.
Prior to your visit:
• Schedule: Your child’s annual physical around your child’s birthday every year. That way, you have one less thing to remember and yet have it well planned out.
• Make a checklist: On your phone, or sheet of paper, priority wise of all the questions that you might want to ask your doctor on the next visit.
• Complete Paperwork Online any paperwork ahead of time so that you do not have to sit and spend time at your doctor’s office filling out forms.
• Separate Visit: For the pressing concerns. Do not keep all your worries for a single visit. You will feel rushed and will not remember most things well if multiple issues are addressed on a single visit.
• Keep A List: Of all the medications that your child takes (or take pictures on your phone).
• Take Notes: When your child sees any other health care provider, note down the name and date of the visit on your phone to share with your child’s doctor on the next visit.
• List Of Questions: If your child is on multiple medications, keep a list of questions or concerns related to the medications like side effects, how long to take it, when to take it and if any blood tests need to be done periodically because of the medicines.
• Be Open: If there are any significant changes in the family, note it down in your list of things to discuss with the doctor. The doctor needs to know about such changes, which have a huge impact on your child’s emotional health and sometimes even in medical decision-making.
On the day of the visit:
Notify: Let the nurse/medical assistant, the person taking care of your child before seeing the doctor, know of your list. That way, the doctor can go over the list first and better prepare to answer your questions. Remember your child’s pediatrician is there for you, do not be afraid to ask those questions.
If you could do all of that, you would have done an excellent preparation for your child’s visit. All the extra work has been taken care of, and you now have the optimal use of your face-to-face time with your child’s doctor.
Oh, and on your way out, when you are scheduling the next appointment, remember to ask the front desk the best way to keep in touch.
Download a quick blank checklist! You can fill in your questions and take it with you on your next visit!