Physical rehabilitation visits are child’s play at Children’s
At Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, we love to see kids smile. In rehabilitation medicine, we get to see that a lot, because we make visits as playful and stress-free as possible.
Still, some things can’t be avoided. At the first visit, your child will encounter new faces and places. There might also be unfamiliar equipment in the room. By preparing for this visit, you can help it go smoothly and set the stage for good experiences to come.
First things first
Your initial call to the clinic may take 5-10 minutes to help us gather information for the appointment and to complete pre-registration. When you call, please have this information ready: reason for appointment, primary physician name and clinic, insurance information and your availability for an appointment. We will work with your physician to get a medical order for the services requested.
Kids get more out of rehab when the physiatrist, therapists, parents and patients work together as a team. Just as a sports team practices before a big game, you and your child can prepare for your first visit, which may have been referred by your pediatrician or because of a hospital stay.
Warm up by gathering all your facts. These are some questions to ask:
- What tests or treatments are planned, and what do they involve?
- Who will be working with my child?
- Will I be able to stay in the room?
- How long will the entire visit take?
- How long will my child be having therapy?
With the facts in hand, talk with your child about what to expect at the visit and how it will help. Before the visit, talk about it with your child. 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. Or a relevant picture book may be worth a thousand words. (Children’s has compiled a great list of suggested reading for kids.)
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.
If you received a questionnaire in the mail, please complete it in advance. Don’t forget to mail it back or bring it with you. You’ll also need any pertinent medical records.
As time goes by
Once therapy is under way, teamwork is still the key to success. We’re always happy to share our playbook with you. You’re encouraged to watch or sometimes even take part in treatment sessions. That way, you’ll have a better understanding of what your child’s treatment entails.
For the best progress, your child needs to practice skills learned in therapy at home. We’ll show you how to help and offer advice on keeping your child motivated. If an activity doesn’t go well, let us know. Your feedback helps us fine-tune the treatment plan. And that helps your child be as successful as possible.
Once kids get used to rehab, many look forward to therapy visits. Parents seem to like it here, too. In a recent survey, more than 90 percent of parents said the physical rehabilitation team at Children’s always treated them with courtesy and respect.
You want your child to get the most out physical rehabilitation. So do we. By teaming up, we can help your child knock it out of the park.