One of the most important things you can do to prepare yourself for your visit to Children's Hospital Colorado is to make a list of questions you have for the doctor.
Sometimes the amount of information you will receive can be overwhelming and confusing. And even though our doctors and nurses are specially trained to communicate with both you and your child, it can sometimes be intimidating to ask your doctor all the questions you have.
Not only is it your right, but it is also your responsibility as a parent to fully understand your child's disorder, treatment and outcomes. Before your visit, review our tips and questions to ask to give you peace of mind.
Tips and Questions to Ask Before Your Visit
Parents can make the biggest impact on the care of their child by taking an active role in their child’s medical care.
Children's Hospital Colorado is founded upon family-centered care. That means that parents are also part of the care team. The following tips will help you engage in your child's care – even if you might be afraid and feel as if you don't understand everything that is happening.
- Write things down in a special notebook and keep it handy. Ask your doctor to repeat things until you can write them down correctly.
- Be polite, direct, and honest at all times. If you find that you are overly emotional, let the doctor know. If necessary, ask if you can set up another time for questions when you will be better able to understand the information.
- Be respectful of your doctor's busy schedule. If necessary, ask for another appointment or for a time when you can talk with your doctor on the phone.
- Find the person involved with your child's medical care you are most comfortable with. Use this person as a resource to ask for clarification or for additional help.
- Ask your child's doctor or nurse if he or she has any literature available that you can have, or ask for recommended books, articles, or websites.
- Visit Children's Hospital Colorado Family Health Library on the first floor of the hospital or contact us to request an information packet about your child's condition.
- Talk to another parent who has a child with your child's condition.
- If your child is old enough, ask him what questions he would like to ask. Put your child in charge whenever possible. Teach your child to speak his mind, and to take an active role in his or her own care. Children's Hospital Colorado staff is trained to talk to your child – not just you. We believe it is an important part of the way we deliver care.
- Develop a clear description of your child's symptoms before the visit. Note when they occur and how long they last.
- Start with the basic questions about your child's condition, tests they might need, treatment options and what other patients like them have experienced. These will lead you to more detailed questions to ask.
- When it is time for your questions, let the doctor know how many you have so that he or she will know when you are finished with your questions.
Changing a Scheduled Appointment
Our doctors, nurses and staff have planned for your child's appointment. If you must change or cancel an appointment, it is very important to call at least 24 hours in advance. This helps us rearrange our schedule and resources to treat other children who are waiting.
If you must change an appointment, please call our main number, (720) 777-1234, and ask for the department treating your child.