By Ala Alkhatib
For a parent, there is nothing more important than your child’s health. You will go to any extreme to ensure that your child remains happy and healthy. Considering your busy lifestyle, it may not be possible to schedule a regular appointment with your child’s doctor. Sometimes, it is very difficult to get an appointment quickly as most pediatricians will be overbooked or overscheduled. Thus, you need to take advantage of the minimum amount of time that you spend with the doctor.
When it comes to child’s healthcare, it is always advisable to take the child to the same doctor again and again rather than switching doctors. This way you are able to build a strong bond between the doctor, the child, as well as the parent – – which make both the doctor’s and parent’s task easier.
Here are several things you need to keep in mind while talking to your child’s doctor about his/her health
Be well prepared: Before seeing the doctor, make a list of the things you should discuss with him / her. This includes the child’s general health, the specific condition, when symptoms first appeared, and the frequency of occurrence. For example, If the child is throwing up a lot, you should keep note of when the vomiting started, what triggered this response, at what interval it occurred, and what home remedy you tried. Also, make a note of all the questions you want to ask the doctor.
Prioritize things: When it comes to your children’s health, you will always have a lot of worries. In addition to writing notes down, you should also prioritize them in order of importance. For example, if you are consulting the doctor for your child’s ear infection, that should be your first priority.
Provide all information: Report to the doctor if there are any other health concerns that should be aware of….do not leave anything out. If there is an X-ray or medical report, remember to carry that as well. If the child is on any new medications or if he / she is allergic to anything, remember to mention this to the doctor. This includes even the multivitamin and painkiller which the child may have had. It is also useful if you can provide a complete report of the child’s health including the blood group, history of allergies (food, drug, and others) and immunization schedule.
Be informed: The internet provides a whole lot of information about each and every aspect of health. While it is a good idea to get some information from the internet, do not go overboard. Familiarize yourself with few medical terms related to your child’s illness. If the doctor mentions any of these names, it will be easy for you to understand.
Remain focused: Pay complete attention to what the doctor is telling. Turn off the cell phone to make sure that you are not distracted. Also, do not discuss things that are totally unrelated to the current health condition like the behavioral problem of the child.
Do not hesitate: A mother is a child’s best doctor. A doctor spends just ten or fifteen minutes examining a child. But it is the mother who knows the child well. If you feel that there is something amiss and your child needs a hospitalization, do not hesitate to tell the doctor. Pointing out certain facts that the doctor missed out will help him to make a proper diagnosis.
Use the latest technology to communicate: When it comes to communicating with today’s doctors, the latest technology like WhatsApp and Email comes handy. Ask your doctor whether he is comfortable communicating through these means and if so remember to get the doctor’s phone number and email id. If you have missed out on any important report, the same can be sent via email or WhatsApp.
Communicate with the nurse: Before seeing a child’s doctor, you will often meet the doctor’s assistant or nurse who will check the height and weight of the child. It would be a good idea to share the child’s health condition with them. They might be able to provide some tip which the doctor would most likely forget in his busy schedule.
Above all, make sure that you meet the doctor at the right time. If by any chance you are not able to reach the clinic on time, let the clinic staff knows beforehand. Also, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the appointment procedure of the clinic as well as insurance formalities to avoid unnecessary delays.
– Ala’a Alkhatib is a passionate digital content marketer based in Jordan who has previously worked in a variety of industries including software, transportation and aeronautics. She is currently helping people live healthier by integrating their doctors into their day to day schedule more efficiently. She is also a frequent user of Cura app having been known to use it to chat with doctors in all kinds of place – even while on the bus!