Have you ever left a doctor’s appointment feeling confused or a bit overwhelmed? You maybe even forgot to ask about that ONE thing that you promised yourself you wouldn’t forget. You’re not alone! Studies show that 40-80% of the medical information patients give during their visit is forgotten immediately, and half of that information is retained incorrectly. Another survey found that nearly 1 in 4 Americans do not feel comfortable asking their doctor-specific health questions. We might be missing some important health information between the lack of retention and discomfort! As adults, it’s crucial to understand how to advocate for our children during their medical visits. That way, we can provide optimum support and get them safely back in the game.
Consider this scenario - Your child is injured on the soccer field. They go for a goal, lose their footing and take a tumble. You suspect a rolled ankle, but want to be sure, as this has happened a few times this season. A week later, you get to the doctor’s appointment and completely forget to mention your child’s earlier injuries to the same ankle. You leave feeling that the visit happened so quickly and now you can’t remember the doctor’s recommendations. Sound familiar? These interactions can feel tricky in that a lot of information is thrown your way in a short amount of time. So, how can you effectively communicate with your child’s doctor in order to leave the appointment feeling more confident and educated? Check out some helpful tips below:
- Write down your child’s injury story and any questions in advance
This will help you stay on track during a forgetful moment and will paint a helpful, complete picture of your child’s health and the injury itself.
- Take notes during the visit
Jotting down a few notes on your phone or notepad during the visit can feel supported to refer back to post-visit.
- Feel empowered to ask questions
Questions like, “Can you repeat what you just said?” or “Would you mind explaining that further?” can help you retain information more effectively and clarify something you might have misunderstood.
- Ask to clarify the next steps
For example, “So, I hear you say that we should try physical therapy for two weeks, then get back in touch?” These will ensure you are all on the same page, leaving nothing a mystery.
- Before you leave, ask how you can be in touch
Be sure to ask about their preferred method of communication in case you need to follow up. MyChart? Email?
Electronic sports safety platforms like InjureFree can support and help close the care circle through user-friendly documentation capabilities. Information regarding your child’s care can be sent in real-time to medical staff, administrators, coaches, parents, and other authorized users - all in the connected care ecosystem. This system ensures that nothing is “lost in communication” and that all key players are working in tandem to support your child’s health and well-being.
Click here to view more tips for effectively communicating with your child’s doctor!