Adolescence is a crucial time for yearly well checks. Although adolescents tend to be very healthy patients; they are undergoing huge changes physically, cognitively, emotionally, and socially. Young children need their parents in the room for reassurance and to provide a good medical history, adolescents need some private time with their provider.
At the start of the visit, your Clinicians’ nurse will bring your child to the exam room where vital signs, (height, weight, blood pressure, vision, hearing and our depression screening tests) will be performed. Once the child is ready to be examined, you will be invited into the exam room.
Your Health Care Clinician will start the visit by talking to you and your teen together to address any mutual concerns. If the adolescent is comfortable for you to be present for the physical exam the Clinician will perform the exam. If for any reason the adolescent is uncomfortable you will be asked to step out of the room for that portion of the visit. During the exam, we will ask if your adolescent has any concerns they wish to discuss in private. It has been our experience that parents appreciate the time we take to addresses all issues your adolescent may initiate. Sometimes, the adolescent may find it hard to talk about an issue inf front of a parent so you may be asked to leave the room if we feel your adolescent is uncomfortable. Some parents feel concerned about this private time, imagining that this time is being used to divulge secrets of the teen’s sexuality or drug use. However, remember this time is important for teenagers to begin developing their own relationship and rapport with their healthcare Clinician, separate from the relationship that may exist between their parents and the Clinician.
Topics that will be discussed include:
• Personal Safety
• Mental Health
• Alcohol and Drug Use
• Sexually Transmitted Diseases
• Making Good Choices
• Social Issues
You will be advised of these confidential issues if your adolescent gives us permission to include you in the discussion. Please be assured, if there is a risk to your adolescent by what is disclosed, the Clinician will be honest about the need to break confidentiality and include you in the discussion, no matter the issue.
We know that you share the same goal we have and that is to provide the best and most complete healthcare possible to your adolescent. This is another reason we use this time to discuss important and personal issues with your adolescent and assurance of confidentiality is crucial to the success of the discussion and to your adolescent personally.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to care for your adolescent, we appreciate the trust you place upon us and will never take that responsibility lightly. Our most important job is to help you in the medical and psychological development of your child so that he or she grows into a mature, well rounded, physically healthy and happy adult.