Communicating with Your Child’s Care Team
Your child’s care team will include a variety of professionals, from doctors and nurses to social workers and child life specialists. Each plays an important role in providing care to your child, and they’re there to work with you and your child throughout their illness. Clear communication with your child’s care team is key, as it can help build trust and provide reassurance during this stressful time. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Share what’s important to you and your family. When you meet your child’s care team, it’s important to establish the goals for treatment and voice expectations. What does quality of life mean to you and your child? You can also explain your family values or religious preferences and emphasize any priorities. These things may change throughout your child’s illness, so it can be important to continue having open and honest conversations with the care team.
Ask questions. Your care team is there to support both your child, you, and your family throughout this time. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek clarification when it’s needed. For example, you might have questions about a current treatment plan, or want to know more about how new information will affect those plans. If you’re not sure how to explain something to your child, they can also be a resource in helping you have difficult conversations.
Advocate for your child. You know your child best, and you can assist them in explaining things to the care team if they don’t feel comfortable doing so. One helpful thing to do is to write down what your child communicates to you so you’re able to pass that along to the care team.
Keep your child’s care team informed. If there are any changes that occur when your child’s care team isn’t present, be sure to keep them up to date. This includes informing the care team about things like improving or worsening symptoms.
Having a child experiencing a serious illness can be emotional and stressful. By creating open lines of communication between your family and your care team, you can establish trust and help your child during their time of need.