You know your child best and it is up to you to advocate for the best medical care for your child. It is important that you develop a good relationship with your child’s medical team – pediatric cardiologist, nurse, office manager and other pediatric specialists. They will be able to answer your questions and provide information.
Building a strong working relationship starts by understanding your child’s diagnosis and being prepared for his/her medical appointments. Here are some general tips for making the most of your child’s medical visit:
- Be knowledgeable about your child's condition so you are able to have a more meaningful discussion with your child’s doctor. Use credible sources to research your child’s condition, and keep in mind that not all information will be applicable to your child’s situation.
- Before your child’s appointment, prepare a list of questions you want to ask and make a note of any new information that you want to provide the doctor.
- If there is some part of your child's treatment that bothers you, is unclear or confusing, discuss it with your doctor. Do not be afraid to speak up when you feel you are not getting the attention or help that your child needs. The best approach is to be firm and straightforward while remaining calm and pleasant in your requests.
- For new doctors, send your child’s medical file prior to your appointment. You should bring information about your child's medications (formulations, dosages, schedule) and a contact list of doctors who have evaluated your child.
- Maintain a file or notebook of your child's key medical reports and selected test results for easy reference.
The American College of Cardiology also has practical information on Preparing for Your Appointment.
Questions to Ask the Doctor
There are basic questions about evaluation, treatment, screening and lifestyle adjustments that you can ask your child’s doctor during his/her appointment. These questions will help you to better understand your child’s disease and allow you to have a more productive conversation with his/her care team. For a list of suggested questions, click here.