Going to the doctor can be scary for kids (and adults!). But there are steps that you can take to relieve some of the stress and make doctor visits a better experience. By making some positive changes to your mindset and changing how you go about looking for medical care, everyone in your family can have an easier time going to the doctor.
These tips will help make visiting the doctor more enjoyable for you and your family.
Find the Right Doctor
The right doctor for someone else may not be the right doctor for your family. You’ll want to choose a provider whose personality fits well with yours and your family members’. And you want someone who is easy to talk to whenever anyone has questions.
It’s also important to review the doctor’s education, practice experience, and other qualifications. You can even check to see if a particular doctor has a history of malpractice or other complaints so you can avoid the ones who won’t be able to provide the best care.
It’s also important to note that if you have medical insurance, then you will need to find a healthcare provider that uses your insurance provider. Otherwise, you can get referrals to see the doctors you prefer.
Check your insurance company’s website to find a provider that is in-network in your area. If you have insurance, seeing what is covered on their website is one of the first places you should look when trying to find a good healthcare provider.
Sometimes services like chiropractic adjustments or physical therapy are not covered under insurance. In this instance, it would be a good idea to do research in your area on what places have the best reviews.
Obtain More Medical Knowledge
Your family can feel more confident about visiting the doctor if everyone is willing to do some research. Everyday Health suggests doing research on medical terms that a doctor may use when discussing specific medical conditions. And you and your family will have a more productive conversation with your doctor if you understand some basic terms.
However, it’s best to avoid doing too much research on certain diseases or conditions that anyone in your family might have, as this can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety. And that will make going to the doctor more difficult.
Bring All Your Medical Information
This is one of the more time-consuming tasks and also one of the most rewarding to do ahead of doctors’ visits. You want to make a list of medical conditions for yourself and everyone in your immediate family to have on hand during the appointment. This is known as a medical history. Having a medical history with you makes filling out paperwork much easier. And it gives the doctors an idea of what health conditions might be expected.
You also want to bring a list of medications for you and your family members. The more information you have with you to give your doctor, the better informed your doctor will be to be able to treat you. And the more at ease you will feel.
If you, your partner, or your little one are going to the doctor for specific symptoms, do your best to write (or type) a list of symptoms and when they started occurring. That way, you can give your provider a clear picture of what’s going on with you and your family. And your doctor can make copies of all your lists so they can add them to your medical records.
If your family is to a new doctor, make sure you have all your previous medical records with you.
Bonus tip: Write out a list of questions for the doctor ahead of time, on your phone or on paper. You will feel so much better knowing you don’t have to worry about forgetting an important question or point.
Bring Personal Items for Comfort
If you have little kids, you can help them feel more comfortable with seeing the doctor by bringing their favorite stuffed animals or toys.
Older children and adults can help keep their minds occupied on more pleasant topics by bringing favorite books to read while they sit in the waiting room. Or you can have an iPad or Kindle with games loaded to keep your family busy while they wait.
Some medical centers discourage people from using their smartphones, but you can always turn off the sound and use it only for playing games or browsing online silently while you wait to see a doctor. Be aware that some doctors offices have spotty Internet, so it’s always good to have alternatives.
Skip the Office Visit
No, this doesn’t mean skipping the appointment altogether. Modern technology has made it possible for patients to connect with their healthcare providers through video conferencing. This way, they can conduct many of their appointments over the internet.
Telemedicine solutions make it possible for patients to connect with doctors from the comfort of their homes. The doctor can prescribe medications, discuss treatment plans, and perform many other duties that are related to patient care during online appointments. This can save your family travel time along with the money that would be needed for gas or public transportation.
Keep in mind that telemedicine visits are only possible for appointments where the doctor doesn’t need to look at physical symptoms, run tests, or monitor something in person. So, for example, an eye doctor visit would not be possible via Internet. But a follow-up visit from your primary care or specialist might work outside the office. Check with your healthcare provider to find out what options are available to you.
Be Honest about Concerns
Directly sharing concerns or nervousness that you or your kids are feeling with the doctor can be helpful. The doctor will very likely be happy to hear your honesty. Personal boundaries can also be discussed so that the doctor can take additional precautions not to cross them unless absolutely necessary.
And remember, you or your kids are not the only ones to feel nervous about doctor visits. Great doctors like to help make families feel as comfortable as possible, so don’t be afraid to be upfront with your feelings.
Your family can establish a better rapport with their doctor and alleviate certain concerns by taking these steps. The doctor’s office doesn’t have to be a scary place. And you can take proactive measures to ensure a more pleasant experience for everyone in your family.
What are your favorite tips for making doctor visits less scary for your kids? Let us know in the comments below!
Now that you know how to make doctor visits more pleasant for you and your family, read our article on amazing mom hacks for sick kids!
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