Your Child’s Visit
Your Child’s Visit
A trip to the doctor is often scary for children.
Explore this section to learn what to expect from your child’s visit. The physicians at K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital are here to serve all of your health care needs, and look forward to meeting you, and your child, soon!
K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital
at Jersey Shore University Medical Center
1945 Route 33
Neptune, NJ 07753
Before the Appointment
From check-ups to surgeries, our staff of physicians and specialists are here to serve all of your child’s health care needs.
Make An Appointment
To find a physician or specialist affiliated with K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital, click here or call the Hackensack Meridian Health Line at 800-560-9990. If you know the specialty/department that your child needs, click here to select from our listing of Services.
Preparing for Your Visit
To make the best use of your visit with your child’s doctor, follow our tips below to be prepared:
Write It Down
Prior to your visit, make sure to write down any questions you or your child may have. Review all of your child’s symptoms including when they started, the history of the problem, and any treatments that may have been tried. List your concerns in priority order to ensure your most pressing issues are addressed.
Gather Information and Related Records
If you have information about your child’s allergies or other health problems, bring these records along, particularly if you are seeing a physician for the first time. Additionally, make sure to bring along a list of your child’s current medications including their names and doses. Take note of any over-the-counter remedies you might be using, and whether your child is taking any additional medications prescribed by another doctor.
Prepare to Brief and Clear
Make sure you mentally rehearse your description of your child’s symptoms and history prior to visiting the doctor. Your descriptions should be as specific as possible, and should avoid vague statements (i.e. “She’s not been feeling well lately”).
Consider Bringing Support
To help with remembering your questions and doctor’s instructions, you may want to bring a trusted friend or family member to the appointment with you.
Preparing Your Child
As a critical member of your child’s health care team, your support is essential to assisting your child through their doctor’s visit.
To ease your child’s anxiety or fears related to their visit, follow our tips below:
Be Honest and Sensitive
Explain to your child why they need to see the doctor and what they can expect to feel, see and hear. Be honest with your child about what may hurt and what will not hurt. Try to avoid creating undue concern for your child.
Encourage Curiosity and Exploration
Becoming familiar with the health care facility and understanding the equipment that will be used during treatment or diagnosis is very important to a child. Help your child learn about the purpose of the examination and the medical equipment that they will come in contact with.
Reassure your Child
Make sure your child knows that the hospital, doctor’s office or clinic is not a punishment and it is not necessarily a place where children will experience pain.
Use Simple Language
When describing a medical procedure try to use words that do not have double meanings or are threatening.
Listen to Your Child’s Concerns
Let your child know that it is OK to ask questions, cry and talk about feelings.
Help Your Child Manage Pain
Many coping strategies can be used to help reduce anxiety and perceptions of pain and discomfort for your child. Distract your child with books, songs, blowing bubbles, video games or music to divert their attention from anxiety and pain.
Comfort Your Child
Touching is an important part of healing. If medical needs prevent you from holding or rocking your child, you may still stroke your child or hold their hand.
When Appropriate, Encourage Play
Children learn about their world and how to cope by playing. Play gives children control and a way to work out and understand their feelings. Playing with puppets, painting pictures and telling stories – before and after the visit – are some meaningful ways to teach your child about their health care needs and experiences.
The Day of the Appointment
The day of your child’s appointment, make sure to bring the following items with you:
- Doctor or specialist’s name
- Department and building name (including floor)
- Name and telephone number of your referring doctor
- Any forms mailed to you by the department
- Insurance information
- Co-payment for your insurance, if applicable
- Your child’s and your Social Security numbers (for insurance reasons)
- Medical records and test results, including X-rays or lab results.
- Authorizations or referrals from your child’s primary care doctor, if necessary
- A listing of your child’s medications
- A listing of your questions for the doctor
Some other helpful tips for the day of the appointment:
Leave Yourself Plenty of Time
Give yourself plenty of extra time to park and get to your appointment (approximately 30 minutes). Often, traffic and parking takes a bit longer than expected. Please try to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early for the check-in process.
Be Prepared for Possible Delays
Unfortunately, we cannot always account for unexpected emergencies or potentially busy days however, it is important to note that you and your child are important to us. In case of possible delays, bring along your child’s favorite book or activity to keep them occupied.
Bring Extra Hands for Additional Children
If it is necessary for you to bring other children to the appointment, we recommend that you try to bring another adult for assistance.
Talking with Your Child’s Doctor
Review the Materials You Brought With You
Remember to review all of the materials that you had prepared for the physician, including questions, current drugs your child is taking, medical history, etc. Be sure to be brief and clear in your descriptions and prioritize your questions.
Even if you can’t write down everything you hear, an outline of the discussion will dramatically increase your memory of the information. Take some time immediately after the visit to fill in other details you remember about the discussion. It may also help to talk your visit over with a friend or family member soon afterward.
Ask for Information that is Organized
Ask your doctor to put information into categories such as what is wrong, what tests your child may need, what treatments are available, and what you must do.
Ask for Explanations
When in doubt about a term your child’s doctor uses, ask. A good way to ensure that you understand is to restate what you believe the doctor has told you. Then if you’ve misunderstood something, your doctor can explain it again.
Receive Necessary Paperwork
Make sure to ask the doctor for any follow-up care instructions, prescriptions, or letters of medical necessity (necessary for school or your child’s primary care physician), before leaving the examination room.