Preparing for a clinic visit

va whattoexpect

If your child's care journey starts at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, knowing what to expect helps make the first visit less stressful. Before the visit, talk about it with your child. Show your child a photo of the doctor from our directory. With younger kids, it may also help to draw pictures (stick figures work just fine!). Or act out the upcoming visit with a stuffed animal as the patient.

To help us complete initial paperwork and concentrate on your child's care, it's best to arrive about
15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. That way, we can zip through the registration and insurance process (remember to bring your insurance card and co-pay) and concentrate on what's most important to us—talking with you and taking great care of your child.

In general, the first clinic visit takes about two hours. You and your child will meet with your vascular anomalies specialist in treating children's blood vessel conditions. The specialist will assess your child's health, ask about any symptoms your child is having and go over the results of any tests.

  • Let us take it from here. Your family's time is important. So when you visit our team, we'll handle everything, from navigating you through your first visit to scheduling any follow-up appointments. Leave the busy work to us while you focus on the big picture—your child.

    If you've already seen other doctors for your child's anomaly, please bring any past records, discs of images or any other information you have along with you.
  • Plenty of helping hands. Every child in our care is assigned a pediatric nurse case manager who will coordinate your child's visits and treatment. The case manager will work with Dr. Stephen Nelson, the center's medical director, to decide which team members need to see your child. Then the case manager will schedule an appointment for you and your child to meet all of those experts at the same time. In most cases, your first visit will take about 2 hours.
  • When the results are in. In most cases, our experts will have a diagnosis after your child's first visit. Sometimes complicated cases take a bit more time. Once we've got the diagnosis, we'll sit down with you and discuss what we recommend for your child. If your child needs treatment, your case manager will schedule those appointments for you. And our team will coordinate with your child's primary care doctor or any other specialists to keep them in the loop.

  • Ask away. Vascular anomalies can be confusing. We'll do our best to make sure we explain your child's diagnosis and treatment plan in a way that's easy to understand. But if you have any questions, just ask! Even if you don't think of them until you get home. You can always give us a call. We're here to help.

  • Keeping kids happy. We know most kids don't like medical visits. That's why we provide toys, books and other distractions as needed. And if you've got siblings tagging along who'd rather be somewhere else, our Child Life department will make sure they stay entertained, too.

  • Making a plan. We accept many health insurance plans. Give your insurance company a call before your visit to learn about your specific benefits. What should you know about billing and insurance before your visit? Learn more »

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR VASCULAR ANOMALIES PROGRAM

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