What should a parent say to a health care provider when they call about a sick child?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,274
    Robin Vick, Assistant Director of Nursing at the Continuum Pediatric Nursing Services, discusses how to communicate with your healthcare team including what a parent should say to the doctor or care provider when they call about a sick child.

    Host: What should a parent say to the doctor or care provider when they call about a sick child? Robin Vick: We all know that illnesses are unexpected and it's going to mean that we have to reach out usually by telephone to communicate information to a physician or health care provider across the telephone. So, a parent can prepare the conversation by having a moment to reflect before the conversation about certain things. The doctor is going to want to know how old is the child, what past exposure has there been that the family has identified, may or may not have contributed to that child's current situation. For example, was a child happened to be in a presence of a sibling who is also sick with certain situations.

    To be able to communicate what the signs and symptoms are that parent has identified. We talked to a little bit about not worrying about using the technical words doctors are going to be just as happy to hear you talk about words like having trouble breathing, seems to be very irritable, lots of drainage from my child's nose and it is yellow or the drainage is white. I have a temperature, the child has a fever, remember to talk about where the fever, where the temperature was taken and what that level was. Also communicate, if there is been previous care received for that condition, how recent was that care, what did it involved, tell a little bit about the history may be that the child has had with this particular situation.

    If he or she has had multiple colds, if he or she has may be just seen the doctor for a cold and now is complaining of an ear ache that's just goldmine information to the doctor to be able to put together what you as the parent have seen to be able to come up with a good guideline for how to manage it.

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