Check out this checklist for your child's checkup.Most children and even some adults don't enjoy their annual doctor visit.
Preventative care is a great way to keep your child healthy to ensure they grow up big and strong.
Finding time to schedule this can be just as challenging as convincing your son or daughter to see the doctor.
Once you finally get into that waiting room you'll want to make the most of your time and the doctor's. Dr. Hannah Chow, Loyola University Health System pediatrician, shares some tips to make the most of your appointments.
Cut to the chase. "We know you are busy so if you skip the small talk we don't mind. Share your concern right away and ask your most important questions first. It might even be good to make a list of the questions you want to ask to make sure we cover your concerns in the visit, but keep it short."
Stick to your 3 most important concerns. "A typical visit lasts 15 minutes, including the examination, so by limiting your concerns you have a much better chance of getting a thoughtful, thorough answer. What might seem like a simple concern to a patient, for example, headaches, involves many detailed questions on the physician's part and a more thorough examination compared to other issues. If there are longer, more complicated issues it might be good to schedule a second visit to discuss things further."
Related: How To Pick The Right Pediatrician
Make good use of the office nurse. "A physician's nurse is invaluable. My nurses know what I want from a medical standpoint, and they are a wealth of information. If you want to speak to a physician directly, first talk with the nurse, who can help you in a more timely manner."
Make sure your phone number and address are correct in your chart. "While this is my front desk's responsibility, I'm always surprised by the number of patients I cannot contact, even after I personally verify their information. I need a valid, working phone number and address so I can reach you for results, discussions and questions."
Never assume no news is good news regarding tests, labs, X-rays and other similar results. "I always ask all patients to call us for all results. There are times I cannot get a hold of patients, whether through wrong phone numbers, incorrect addresses, not receiving messages, full voice mail boxes or language barriers. Please, always contact your doctor's office if you do not receive a result in the expected time frame."
Fill out papers to the best of your ability. "Many times I'll have paperwork in my box stating, 'patient needs you to fill out forms to take his medication at school,' and I have no idea which medication the parent wants me to approve. At the very least fill out the patient's name, date of birth and medication on the form. The more details you can provide, the more you fill out, the faster you will get your paperwork back."
Schedule annual physicals early. "School is almost over and early summer is a great time to get your child in for their school physical. If you wait too long doctor's offices are packed. With so many back-to-back appointments it's even harder for doctors to give each patient the time and attention they want to give and that you and your child deserve."
Don't forget, a lollipop goes a long way with little ones. If your doctor doesn't have them, it may be worth throwing your child's favorite treat in your bag to give them a reward for being so brave and even for yourself since you were so prepared.
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