Clinics and Personnel

Essential Reading

The First Visit to the Adult Clinic/Hospital

Many young people feel a little nervous about their first visit to the adult clinic. This is quite normal considering they are used to attending the same hospital or clinic for many years. While all hospitals and clinics are different and will have procedures in place that work best for them, there are some things that will be the same. Whether you are feeling excited, nervous or a mix of the two, the following information might help you to be more prepared for your first visit.

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What You Can Expect:

  • Even though you will be meeting new people, the staff should help you to settle in.
  • There may be other people in the clinic who are much older than you.
  • Waiting times in the adult clinic can be longer than in the children’s clinic.
  • You may not see the full health care team on the first visit but will meet them at subsequent visits.
  • The health care team would prefer to talk to you and not your parent(s)/guardian(s) so the questions they ask will be directed to you.
  • At the first visit, there can be a lot to take in so having a parent/guardian/friend with you can be helpful. If you want to bring someone along with you for support you can certainly do this.
  • Your consultation may be shorter than previous consultations in the children’s clinic/hospital.
  • Procedures may not be carried out in the order that you are used to.
  • You may be asked to repeat your medical history and medication information to each person you see. This is normal as each health care professional wants to make sure that they know all about you and make their own notes.
  • Most people get used to the new clinic and new team and most will build a good relationship with them over time.
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How You Can Prepare:

  • Find out the name of your new consultant and/or a specific nurse that you might be seeing at the clinic.
  • Decide if you would like to bring someone with you for the first visit. Even if you do not want this person to see the nurse/doctor with you, they could be there for support and company while you wait. It is your choice.
  • Learn about your medical condition and be able to answers questions. Talk to your parent(s)/guardian(s) and your medical team if you need their help.
  • Bring a list of your medications and/or treatments and your medical history with you.
  • Know the name, address and contact details of the chemist you use for your medication/treatments, you could be asked for this information.
  • Bring any record diaries that you keep (for example, your lung-function test or blood glucose readings).
  • Make a list of questions so that you won’t forget them on the day. For example, you might want to ask about the medications/treatments that are available in the adult clinic or you may want to know the procedures that will be carried out at each visit.
  • Make sure to ask for details of who to contact in case of an emergency.
  • If possible, make a trial run to the new hospital and find out where your clinic will be. This will mean that you won’t have to worry about getting lost on the first day.
  • If you can’t do a trial run, make sure to leave plenty of time in advance of your appointment, so that you arrive early to find the clinic.
  • When you see the health care team, talk to them and know that you can ask questions if you want to.
  • You know best about your health and don’t be afraid to speak up.
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