Sometimes a person can feel that their experience at a pediatric office is like going to a circus—lots of people milling about, no place to sit down. So, it is important to limit the amount of people attending your appointment to only those needed. This is also a safety issue to minimize infection transmission. Limiting the number of people you bring will ensure that we can accommodate your needs and provide a high level of service to all of our patients. Remember your mask. Bringing one adult per one child is our request if at all possible (and we understand sometimes that isn’t an option). Please no strollers in our smaller facilities, just bring in the car seat. Additionally, don’t forget to bring extra diapers in event of the unexpected blowout, and please avoid bringing food (especially sticky or messy foods), crayons or other things that dirty up the rooms.
The staff will call your child back to begin taking vitals, and vision and hearing testing depending on age. If you have paperwork to fill out, extra add-on requests or medications to refill, be sure to let the back office staff know and not surprise the doctor. If you decide to add more reasons for your visit the moment you arrive, you may need to schedule another follow-up appointment which our staff can set up for you. Check with the staff if your child has to use the bathroom to see if a urine test is going to be needed. Infants are weighed naked as this is safer to monitor weight gain for very tiny babies. Infants under 3 months have rectaltemperatures taken as this is most accurate and standard of care.
Physical exams can be performed with or without your child wearing a gown. Typically, loose sweatshirts and a t-shirt are adequate for conducting an exam for most kids. Any visits where genitalia are examined require a chaperone no matter the age, so if you don’t have another person with you, we can provide one. We encourage our female patients after puberty to see our female providers and likewise male patients out of courtesy to our patients. Patients with different declared genders are treated with dignity and respect and the provider of choice can be offered to suit their needs based on availability.
If patients do not want their private areas examined, we never force the issue. We want patients to be comfortable. Breast and pelvic exams are performed as the physician sees the need, and hernia tests are typically done if desired after age 13 for male patients or for completion of a sports physical. Vaccines are recommended based on your vaccine record or the online CARES database, so if your record is not accurate (you went to another doctor and don’t have an updated card), please let us know. Usually the provider will enter the room when the vitals are entered into the computer system in the order patients are ready. Some providers have time to review the chart before you enter or bring a laptop into the room, some do not. Each provider has their own style, nonetheless, make sure to inform or remind the provider if there is a serious medical condition, do not assume they already know. This our shared responsibility. They may give you a call after the visit after reviewing your chart if new questions arise that weren’t addressed during the visit.
Adolescents will have an opportunity to speak confidentially with the provider and, by law, some of the information discussed cannot be shared with parents without the adolescent’s express written consent. If, however, the adolescent refuses to speak privately with the provider, we will not force the issue. If parents have concerns about the provider discussing sex, mental health, drugs, or other sensitive topics with their child, it is expected that these concerns be voiced early in the visit. Usually, finger pokes, TB tests and vaccines are saved for the very end of the visit. Then, if you have to go to get labs or x-rays, you will be given a map and the necessary paperwork.
If you have a prescription, please pick it up as soon as the visit is over because our after-hours doctor may be unable to fix prescription problems after the clinics have closed. If you are sent to the hospital, please go immediately and don’t stop off in various places first. Lastly, if a referral to a specialist is needed, you should get a call within about two weeks, and if you do not receive that call, something has gone wrong, and we ask you to reach out to the physician to get assistance. This is also our shared responsibility.