Talking With Your Child's Healthcare Team

At The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, we want you to have all the information you need to talk with your child’s healthcare team. When we say healthcare team, we mean anyone at CHOP taking care of your child —nurses, doctors, therapists, social workers, child life specialists, and any other employee who helps you and your child.

We value your observations and what you know about your child. Please share important information about your child’s health with us. We are here to help.

Here are some tips for talking with your child’s healthcare team from experienced families on our Family Advisory Council:

  • Take a friend, your spouse or a relative with you for support. This person may also take notes so you can concentrate on the conversation.
  • It is helpful to write down questions before the appointment.
  • Ask the staff to spell, or say something in a different way, when what they have said is not clear.
  • Let the staff know if you need to take a break. Conversations about your child’s health can be tiring.
  • Let the staff know if you feel you need more privacy.
  • If more information would be helpful, let the staff know. Make a specific request.  For example: “How can I get more information about this?”
  • Ask if there are other options in the plan of care for your child.
  • It is OK to tell your healthcare team you want to get a second opinion for your child.
  • At the end of the conversation, work with the healthcare team to agree on things like
    • What is the next step?
    • Who will call you with test results and when?
    • When will the next appointment or meeting take place?
    • What questions still need to be answered?
    • Whom should you call if you have more questions or information to share, and what is the best way to reach the staff member?
August 2014