Expecting the unexpected
No one plans for a concussion. And yet, concussions need timely assessment and treatment. At Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, we understand that prompt care for concussion is critical. That’s why the specialists in our pediatric concussion program work closely with our emergency medicine team to schedule follow up evaluations of young patients.
For more urgent situations, we also offer emergency care for concussions 24/7 though the emergency department at both our Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses. In addition, our pediatric emergency physicians staff the Woodwinds Hospital, Two Twelve Medical Center and WestHealth emergency rooms.
Two ways to meet
The way we first meet depends on your child’s situation. In some cases, your child may be referred to the concussion program through our emergency department or your child’s doctor. Or you may have come to us directly after your child’s head injury. Either way, you can expect top-notch care from our team of dedicated concussion specialists.
Preparing for a clinic visit
If your child’s care journey starts at Children’s concussion program, 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.
At your child’s first clinic visit, you’ll meet with one of our nurse practitioners. During this visit, they will review your child’s medical history and conduct a neurological exam. Your child may also have a physical therapy evaluation and ImPACT™ computerized testing. This test measures any problems with thinking, memory, attention span and reaction time. If you have any baseline IMPACT testing results, please bring them too.
After we’ve completed any testing, we’ll meet with you to talk through the diagnosis and our treatment recommendations. Depending on your child’s specific symptoms, treatment may include physical and mental rest, physical therapy and medications. We may refer your child to other specialists, such as a neurologist or neuropsychologist, if needed.
You have a laundry list of questions. We’ve got answers.
We suspect you may have lots of questions about your child’s concussion. During the first visit, ask away. We’ll answer all your questions and give you some basic education about concussions and their treatment. You’ll also receive written instructions about your child’s treatment plan, including any specific accommodations for school, work or play.
Continuing the care journey
Concussions take time to heal. We’ll follow up with your child every few weeks to ensure he or she is recovering as expected. We may also run follow-up tests to check your child’s cognitive function over time. Once your child’s healing is complete, we’ll provide a written medical clearance for your child to return to any sport or activity.