Doctors. They're the ones who seemingly hold all the answers concerning the health of our children. Communication is key in being able to work with our children's physicians in order to help our kids.
However, sometimes that's easier said than done. Doctors can seem intimidating, at times, and not all of them display the best bedside manners. So how can we, as parents, learn to interact on a better level with our child's medical team?
Do Your Homework
Studies have shown when patients or parents of patients do their own research of their or their child's diagnosis, the quality of both the health of the patient and the relationship between doctor and patient, or, in our case, doctor and parent, improves tremendously. Plus, it helps quite a bit to understand some of that medical jargon doctors and nurses spit out.
Use Your Time With the Physician Effectively
Before you and your child step foot inside a clinic or hospital for an appointment or procedure, take a little time to jot down questions about your child's health that you want to ask your doctor. This prevents the small window of time you get with the physician (usually about ten minutes) from being filled with silence and struggle to communicate. Having a list handy ensures you will remember all of your questions and it shows the doctor that you're truly concerned and interested helping your child's situation get better.
Don't Be Afraid to Give Feedback
Most clinics and hospitals now offer surveys and questionnaires to their patients or patients' parents regarding their visit. This is a great opportunity to let the clinic or hospital know how they're performing, and how they can improve, if needed. Some patients shy away from giving feedback but I encourage you as parents to feel free about sharing your opinion. Doctors are people, too, and much like the rest of us, they like to know how they're doing at their job through the eyes of those who count the most—the patients or patients' families. Even if there's an area you feel your child's medical team needs to improve on, don't be afraid to share it with them. After all, you're looking for the best care for your child's needs.
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