How do adult services differ from child healthcare services?
Below is an outline of some of the main differences you may come across, and some helpful hints and tips and key questions to ask.
The way that healthcare services are delivered in a children's hospital can be quite different from the adult health care environment. This information is to let you know some of these key differences so that you will feel better prepared. You can download a printable pdf of this information here.
|Child Healthcare Services||Adult Healthcare Services|
|Questions from the medical team about you and your treatment in hospital will be directed at your parents/carers||Questions will be directed at you, and you will need to be able to explain your medical information|
|You may have a parent/carer with you at appointments to help you ask any questions you might have||When you attend appointments alone, you will need to ask questions yourself|
|The healthcare team should use language you and your parents/carers can understand||The adult healthcare team should use language and talk in a way you can understand|
|Your parents/carers will tend to book appointments for you||You book your own appointments|
|The wards in the children's hospital are familiar to you, may have some decorations and activities for you to do||Adult wards may not have recreational activities or decorations|
|You may get to share a room with someone your own age, but it will sometimes be someone much younger||You may be in a two or four bedded room with older adults|
|Wards are usually set up for family/caregivers to stay over||Wards are not usually set up for family/caregivers to stay over as easily|
|You can always ask your parents/carer if you are unsure||You can still ask your parents/carer to help you understand - what's what they are there for|
|You may be part of a community based support service for your condition with similar aged people||You may be part of a community based support service for your
condition with similar aged people.
You can still access support in adult wards
Below are some helpful tips for taking charge of your own healthcare and managing your appointments:
- Be informed, develop a plan for managing your own healthcare
- Think of three sentences that summarise your medical condition and care
- Book your appointments in advance and keep a diary so you can make sure you turn up
- Allow plenty of time to get to your appointments
- Don't be afraid to ask questions from your healthcare team and to ask for an explanation if there is anything you don't understand. It might be helpful to take a list of questions with you to your appointment so that you don't forget.
- Keep your parents/carers up to date on your healthcare. They can be there as a backup
- You can always bring someone with you to your appointments or to the hospital ward.
- If it is possible, go and visit the adult wards so that you know what they look like
- You may want to get more involved with your community support service, sharing your experience with other adults.
This checklist is based on the information from Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne Transition Programme
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