Ah, doctors. They literally save lives, but for many, communication between patient and physician often falters.
This is especially true when it comes to our children’s pediatricians, in part because it takes an awful lot of convincing to get a doctor to run tests on an area you’re concerned about.
Doctors can often seem intimidating to patients and parents of patients, but the truth is, they’re just as daunted by us as we are of them. Here’s a few tips on how to remedy the awkward communication gap between you and your child’s pediatrician.
If possible, bring along your spouse or an older relative, like a grandparent or aunt.
This helps if your pediatrician is quick to dismiss a concern you have when your child appears healthy to them.
With a partner there to back you up, it’s near impossible for a physician to ignore your request to have a second look.
Having a positive attitude makes all the difference.
Your pediatrician sees quite a few patients and parents a day, and not all of those visits are pleasant.
Seeing a smiling face on a parent can literally change a doctor’s own attitude in a snap.
Plus, they are much more likely to listen to what you have to say if you treat them as your partner in your child’s healthcare, instead of coming off as accusing and defensive.
The waiting room is an especially harrowing experience when you are trying to keep a sensory-sensitive child calm.
If your child has problems sitting in the waiting room for long time periods, address this concern with your pediatrician’s receptionist.
Ask them to help you schedule appointments during slower times of the day when waiting periods are short, or ask if they can send a text when the wait time is less than ten minutes.
Many times, physicians won’t discuss neurological or other health concerns during a well baby checkup, but instead will ask you to schedule another appointment specifically for those reasons.
That’s why it’s best to let the nurse or secretary know what kind of concerns you are hoping to address during your child’s appointment during the time that you schedule the visit.
I can’t be the only one who thinks of a hundred concerns I want to discuss with my physician in the days before an appointment but when I get there, I forget all my worries and tell the doctor everything’s fine.
If there are specific concerns you want addressed, write them down and make sure you go over everything on the list with the doctor.
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