Tips for Finding the Right Pediatric Care for Your Child
Making sure your child has the best possible care is the top priority for most parents. Finding the right pediatrician for your child can be difficult, but with the help of these tips, the search will be a little easier.
Ask Family Members, Friends, and Coworkers Who They Recommend and Why
This is the best place to start on your hunt for a pediatrician or to return to if you are stuck in a rut. This tip works especially well if your family members or friends already have kids. They have already gone through the search, and this is who they chose. Do they recommend who their kids are seeing? Maybe another pediatrician in the same practice? Ask what they like about their pediatrician? Have there ever been any situations where the doctor has gone out of their way for your friend’s child? The American Pregnancy Organization gives us some additional questions you could ask:
- Do you feel rushed during your appointments?
- Does the pediatrician address all your questions and concerns?
- Do your children like your pediatrician?
- Does your pediatrician include you in the decision-making process?
- Does your pediatrician explain all side-effects and risks of various treatments?
- Do they respect your opinion? How do they react when you do not agree with them?
Take Time to Call Offices and Ask Some Questions
You want to make sure your child receives the best care, or else you wouldn’t be reading this article. Take the time to think about what you care about in your child’s health. Don’t be afraid to call their office and ask where they went to school at, what kind of certifications they have, you could even set up and interview with the pediatrician to ask them these questions. NorthShore University Health System gives us some questions you could ask:
- Is the doctor accepting new patients?
- What are the office’s hours and location?
- If you were to call the office at night, who would answer your call – a nurse or your doctor?
- Is the doctor apart of a group practice? How often would they be able to have an appointment with their doctor?
- Will the office accept my insurance?
- How does the doctor feel about certain issues (for example breastfeeding, vaccinations, or antibiotics)? See how the pediatrician reacts and if you are comfortable with their reaction.
Check with Your Insurance Company to See Who Accepts Your Health Insurance
Many insurance companies have a list of providers within their network. For some, it is as simple as going to the insurance website. Other companies make it easy for you to compare and have their credentials, ratings, and reviews displayed. It is important to choose a provider within your insurance network, so you know you are covered when you have an appointment. Finding an in-network provider will save you money in the long run.
Look for Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics or “FAAP”
These four letters are extremely important when it comes to looking for a pediatrician. FAAP stands for “Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics,” and it signifies that the Pediatrician is board certified, stays up to date on the latest in child health, and is committed to learning the rest of their life. If you are ever short on names during your search for a pediatrician, check out their pediatrician referral site. The website allows you to search for pediatricians in your area and gives their name, phone, and you can view their profile and where their practice is at.
Don’t Be Afraid to Use a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Pediatric Nurse Practitioners are registered nurses or nurse practitioners specializing in the care of children. Their focus is on preventative care, primary care, growth and development, and managing illnesses. Pediatric Nurse Practitioners provide a holistic treatment style, meaning they consider the child beyond their symptoms and educate as they are being treated. Pediatric Nurse Practitioners can work independently from a Pediatrician in the state of Texas and can diagnose and treat patients as well as perform procedures. Not only that, but nurse practitioners can help lower the cost of health care. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, patients who see their nurse practitioner as their primary care provider often have less emergency room visits, shorter hospital stays, and lower medication costs.