Meeting the doctor for medical reasons isn’t an experience one is really looking forward to- especially so for the parents who visit a pediatrician for their child’s problems. Many of them don’t really get the best out of their doctor just because they don’t know how to do it.
Well, don’t despair. Here are my tips to help you out.
- Check out the doctor first.
By this I don’t mean that you ask your doctor to lie on his back and stick his tongue out! I just mean that you should check out his credentials. Make sure to look at his degree and if possible get some feedback from the patients who have been to him.
A doctor criticizing other doctor’s treatment and decisions is usually not a good sign. Be careful about such ‘judgmental’ doctors.
The doctor I would recommend to you will be one who gives time to listen to you and then offers you guidance, rather than just a quickly scribbled prescription!
- Wear sensible clothes.
This instruction is not for the mom and dad but for the kid! Obviously many moms and dads also could do with this tip! 🙂
Bear in mind that you aren’t entering your baby a fancy dress competition! The layer on layer type of clothing, which is difficult to open, is an absolute no-no. Many times, mothers just struggle and stretch to get their little ones out of their tight clothes. It leads to wastage of time and often ends up in making the baby cry.
The clothes should be loose and easy to open so that they provide easy access for the doctor to check various body parts for thorough inspection, palpation and auscultation.
- Sit properly in front of your doctor.
Don’t even think that I am playing a school- master! But many parents do make a hash of this simple thing.
A child in the mother’s lap with his face towards the doctor is the ideal position for check-up. But many parents keep on admiring the child’s face themselves and let the doc have a rear-view!
For restraining the child before throat inspection the parent carrying him should contain both the arms of the child with one hand and with other hand restrain the child’s forehead.
Never press the child’s mouth to force him to open it. It only makes it more difficult.
When the doctor is trying to examine the child’s throat or ear, please don’t try and peer inside to get a view! You would then be obstructing the doctor’s view.
There is no need for you to tell your kid to breathe in and out. The doctor would like to check the actual breathing pattern, rather than this forced one.
- Mind your language!
Try to be pleasant and don’t let your anxiety dominate your conversation. Over-anxiety often percolates to other person and worsens the matters rather than improving them.
Answer the questions completely and honestly without holding any information. Be precise and to the point. Avoid repeating same things over and over. Keep a paper with your queries ready so that you don’t miss any.
Don’t try to show off your medical knowledge. That is a sure-shot turn-off for the doc. Instead let the doctor show off his knowledge by asking him your queries in an ‘innocent’ but ‘leading’ manner to clear any doubts in your mind.
- Keep good records.
Maintain a good file of previous and present medical records containing information about the birth, development, vaccination, illnesses, allergies, medicines and investigations. Bring this file whenever you visit a clinic or a hospital.
- Follow the instructions.
The instructions about rest, diet and medicines are to be followed sincerely. Complete the course of medicines as advised. Do not modify the dosage or duration of medicines on your own.
- Don’t keep making telephone calls for every small doubt.
Telephonic advice should be sought for real medical emergencies and that too only after extending proper social courtesies like saying the right words such as ‘Excuse Me’, ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’.
- Don’t shop for doctors.
Trust your doctor. If you don’t then there is no sense in going to him.
Medicines don’t work like miracles and every illness subsides only after a particular duration. So be patient till the medicines work their way round the illness. Immediately don’t rush to the next available doctor.
- Be friends!
Develop a friendly rapport with the doctor and also include your kid in that process of friendship. One way to ensure that is to do away with that favourite scare-crow word – ‘Injection’!
- Show your appreciation.
Like any other person, your doctor also would be very happy if you show your appreciation for his work. Let it be genuine appreciation and not the forced fake kind!