For parents, having a sick child is frustrating for many reasons. Not only do you have a child who may not be able to explain to you why they are not feeling well, you may also have to then try to communicate what you “think” is the problem to your child’s doctors. Parents sometimes feel that their child’s doctors are “not listening” or think that the parents are exaggerating the child’s symptoms. This is frustrating for parents but can also interfere with a child getting the care that they need. Here are some tips to communicate with your child’s doctor and insure that you are getting the care you know your child deserves.
Know your insurance
Reading all of that information that is sent to you from the insurance company is not only time consuming, it is down right confusing. Don’t be afraid to call and speak to a representative at your insurance company regarding questions, concerns and even complaints about the services you are getting. Make a list ahead of time of your questions or concerns and check them off and make notes as you talk with the person. If you have been to your child’s doctor five times in the last six months because of ear infections and are getting no place, they may be able to refer you to another doctor or put you in contact with someone regarding quality of care. This is especially true if you have private insurance.Whenever you talk to someone make sure you ask their name and keep a list of who you talk to and the times and dates of your conversations. This record will be vital if you need to file a complaint later.
Enter the office prepared
If you are concerned about a reoccurring illness, mark the dates that the symptoms started, when they saw the doctor and when you started medication on a calendar and bring it to your office visit and show the doctor. This might deliver a bigger impact on the doctor and also show them that you are really serious. You should also do the same thing if you suspect developmental delays, behavior problems or if your child is not achieving milestones. This will help the doctor to see the progression of symptoms. It seems time consuming but in the end a record of your concerns such as a calendar will be more helpful than leaving the office confused and frustrated. If you have to, make an appointment with the doctor and don’t bring your child with you.
Come into the office prepared. You might also want to mention to the person making your appointment that you would like to spend a little extra time with the doctor because you have some concerns. This will allow them to schedule in more than just the time it takes for a regular office visit into their daily schedule. This will also help the doctor be less rushed and more open to listen. You may also want to invest in a “Baby Briefcase” or other organizer for your child’s medical records. The Baby Briefcase has file folders for specific aspects of your child’s life and organizes them in to one easy to carry case. Being organized will also show the doctor that you are serious about the care your are getting for your children
In the end
At the end of the day, if you feel that you are not getting what you deserve from your care then don’t sit back quietly. We have all heard stories of parents that did not act on their concerns and later saw their children pay the price. Don’t be afraid to communicate your concerns and voice your opinion. You will find a doctor that will help you, it might just take a little time.