This post is a sponsored writing prompt from GigaSavvy on behalf of their client Molina Healthcare . All opinions and advice are my own.
As a family of six, we seem to spend a lot of time on doctor visits. Each well check used to be somewhat intimidating for me. Sometimes it felt like the doctor was interrogating me, and other times it felt like they didn’t even want to talk to me at all and were in and out in less than five minutes. Certainly frustrating when you waited so long for your appointment. It doesn’t have to be like that, though. Over the years I’ve picked up on ways to make our visits run smoothly and be more effective.
1. When making the appointment for your children, schedule multiple children for the same visit. Obviously this only works if you have more than one child. The reason I schedule more than one kid together is because it actually gives us more time with the doctor. I feel like I personally get to ask all of my questions and get the information I need and the doctor isn’t rushed to get to the next appointment because it’s in the same room.
2. Having a couple of kids with you is fine, but don’t bring extra children. If you have four kids, but only two have a checkup, try to have someone watch them, or schedule the appointment when the others will be at school or daycare. It’s helpful not to have that extra distraction so you can focus on the children who need to be there.
3. You can really help the doctor if you take notes for a few days or weeks before the appointment. This applies to children and adults. For kids, the doctor will often ask questions like “how often and how much does he eat?” “How many words is she saying?” “How long does he sleep?” “How often does she wet or soil her diaper?” I can give a ballpark estimate off the top of my head to some of the questions, but it’s so much easier if I have some averages written down that I can refer to. I actually have an app that tracks all that crazy stuff for me when I remember to input it. For adults, it’s helpful to have some of your information (like your cycle, ladies – or even your sleep habits) written down so that you can give the doctor a really accurate idea of what’s going on.
4. If you’re a new parent, or maybe it’s been a while since your last doctor visit, you probably have a million questions that you’ve been thinking up. When it finally comes time to chat with the doctor I usually forget every single question. Write down questions as you think of them, in the days and weeks leading up to the appointment. That way, you have them handy. As an added bonus, you’ll also have a paper on which to jot down any notes you want to remember.
5. If it’s your first visit or it’s been a long time, bring all of the paperwork you will need to refer to or show to the receptionist or doctor. It will be things like your insurance card, social security card for you or your children, vaccine records, etc. You should be able to ask the person making your appointment to give you an idea of what you need to bring with you. This will make your check in run smoothly and can shorten your waiting time too.
6. It’s always nice to have someone with you. Bring your spouse, partner, or even a parent. They can help by asking questions or offering information that you may not have thought of. They can also help keep the children entertained or calmed if they get upset.
7. When it’s appointment time, ask as many questions as you need to. Don’t be afraid to ask questions that may seem “weird,” because it may be something very important. For a short time you have the doctor’s full attention, so it’s best to ask everything and anything.
With these tips you can really get the most out of your next doctor visit, whether it’s for yourself or your children. You can also find more information about well checkups, including schedules and immunization information, on the Molina Healthcare website.