As we enter 2017, you may realize that your child needs to see a specialist. Below are some useful tips on how to make the most out of your child’s appointments with the specialist.
Before Setting Up an Appointment, Do Your Research
Explore the specialist’s website and make sure the specialist is the right fit for your child.
When Booking the Appointment
Look at your calendar and your child’s school schedule. Avoid booking the appointment during test time or major school events. Re-scheduling a long-awaited appointment can be a hassle. Be aware of the specialist’s office cancellation policy.
If your child has had any blood work, imaging studies, or other testing, then have it sent to the specialist’s office ahead of the appointment date. Specialists like to review the information in advance so they are fully prepared to take care of your child. Do patient paperwork ahead of time or use online options to complete the paperwork. Make a list of questions you and your child would like to ask the specialist. Discuss your child’s symptoms with your child at home and have your child be prepared to answer questions at the visit.
Be on Time or Ahead of Time
Not being on time creates a domino effect and the wait time becomes longer for all the following patients. Look at the directions to the specialist’s office the day before. Know where you are taking your child. Leave time for traffic delays. Have your completed paperwork ready or arrive extra early to complete the paperwork before the appointment. Many offices will ask you to reschedule if you arrive after your child’s appointment time.
Bring Another Adult
If possible, bring another adult so you have another set of ears listening. Having another adult also helps keep your child distracted so you can interact with the specialist. If your child is young or if other siblings are coming, consider bringing something for each of them to do so they do not interrupt you during the visit. If another adult cannot come, then ask the specialist if you can have the other parent on speaker phone or if you can record the conversation.
Share information with the specialist and office staff and be honest. Let the staff know if your child has special needs or requires a longer appointment time so accommodations are made. Discuss your concerns with the specialist at the start of the appointment instead of waiting till the appointment is almost over. The specialist’s goal is to partner with you and your child so your child gets better.