The following information was released by Los Alamitos Medical Center.
It’s probably easy to get your child to go play at the park, visit grandma’s house, or eat out at a restaurant. But going to the doctor? That may take some convincing. Nevertheless, a trip to the doctor’s office doesn’t have to be a scary or stressful time for your son or daughter. By preparing ahead of time and talking with your child about what to expect, parents may relieve fears so their little one can have a positive health care experience.
Before leaving for the doctor’s office, explain the purpose of the visit to your son or daughter. Ask them about how they feel about going to the doctor and why they think they need an appointment with the doctor. If the upcoming appointment is for a regular health checkup, talk to your child about how the doctor will check on how they are growing and examine them to make sure their body is healthy. Let them know that all kids in good physical shape go to the doctor for these kinds of visits. It may help to use a doll or teddy bear to show how the nurse will measure their height, take blood pressure, or look in the eyes and ears.
If you are taking your child to a specialist because of an illness or medical condition, explain in terms they can understand about what will take place during the office visit and exam. Be honest, but not alarmingly so, if there will be any procedure that may be uncomfortable, embarrassing or even painful. Children may be able to deal with discomfort more easily if they know ahead of time, and they will trust you if you are honest with them.
Some children may assume that they have to go to the doctor because of something they did or didn’t do. Reassure them that visiting the doctor is not punishment, especially if the appointment is for an illness or injury. If other relatives or friends have the same condition, share that information with your child so they understand that others have been through the same thing. Explain to your child that the doctor is there to help make them feel better and fix any problems – not hurt them.
If your child is old enough, encourage them to participate in the appointment. Have your son or daughter write down questions for the doctor ahead of time so they can remember to ask them during the visit. Let the doctor talk to your child directly, but be prepared to add information about previous illnesses or other pertinent health background.
Because it is important for your child to trust their doctor, choose a pediatrician who understands their fears, relates well to them and communicates in a friendly manner. A good rapport can minimize feelings of embarrassment when the doctor examines your child. A doctor who seems critical or disinterested could make your child feel uncomfortable and afraid. To find a child-friendly pediatrician on the medical staff at Los Alamitos Medical Center, call the free physician referral service at 800-548-5559.
About Los Alamitos Medical Center
Opened in 1968, Los Alamitos Medical Center is a 167-bed acute care hospital located at 3751 Katella Ave in Los Alamitos. The medical center offers a wide range of programs for families and seniors. Medical services include a 24-hour emergency department, Birthing Center; cardiology, including a cardiac catheterization/angiography suite; oncology; respiratory; an on-site laboratory; MRI and open MRI; CT Scan; PET Scan; physical therapy; secured geropsychiatry unit, and others, in addition to educational lectures and support groups. The hospital is part of an integrated medical campus that includes three medical office buildings and the Total Care Pavilion. The Total Care Pavilion is home to the Total Care Cancer Center and Total Care Infusion Center and also has the Total Care Imaging Center. A Health Care Center located within the Seal Beach Leisure World community is part of the campus too. The hospital is fully accredited by the Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest hospital accreditation agency.
Two new service lines debuted in late 2011. The Total Care Breast Center services include two nurse navigators and a female medical director. They are located in the Total Care Pavilion and have comprehensive services that include high-risk assessment, diagnostic procedures, and genetics counseling and testing.
Wound Healing and Hyperbarics offers two hyperbaric chambers and a rotating staff of specialty physicians. They are dedicated to the comprehensive treatment of problematic wounds.
Los Alamitos Medical Center also has an online wait time clock for ER services, InQuickER service to the ER, and eight new patient treatment areas in an expanded ER department. The hospital is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to meet your health care needs.
To learn more about Los Alamitos Medical Center, visit www.losalamitosmedctr.com.