What to Expect at Your First Appointment at the Arrhythmia Clinic
Your child's heart (and all hearts) is controlled by an electrical system. This system sends an electrical impulse down a special pathway to your child's heart to tell it when and how to beat. Sometimes, this system can become irregular. When that happens, your child may experience an arrhythmia (an abnormal heartbeat). Your child's heart may beat too fast or too slow. This can create several symptoms, including fainting or heart palpations.
When another provider thinks there may be a problem with your child's heartrate, you want answers—fast. The compassionate arrhythmia team at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center is here to help. Our team includes pediatric cardiac electrophysiologists who have training and specialized experience in diagnosing and treating abnormal heartbeats in children.
Here, we put your child first. We answer questions, address concerns, and perform comprehensive testing and exams that lead to an accurate diagnosis. Best of all, your child's medical care is just one aspect of their treatment. We're dedicated to creating a supportive and welcoming environment.
A greeter will be on hand from the minute you enter our clinic, helping you find where you need to go and offering stickers or games to your child. Our child life specialists can also help calm fears of any nervous child (or parent) with games, songs, and clear and simple explanations of what to expect during a test or procedure. And, our nurses, staff, and providers are only a phone call away with any questions or concerns you may have.
Learn more about what you can expect during your child's appointment at the Arrhythmia Clinic—and how we're here for you.
Making an Appointment at the Arrhythmia Clinic
It's easy to make an appointment at the Arrhythmia Clinic. You can call our clinic directly to request an appointment, or another doctor may refer you to us. (A referral means another provider—such as a pediatrician or specialists—thinks your child will benefit from our services.) They will work with our department or will provide our contact information directly to you.
Schedule your child's appointment by contacting central scheduling.
Once we receive your appointment request, someone from our team will reach out to gather additional information. We'll ask a series of questions, medical history, reason for visit, and past electrocardiogram (EKG) results. (An EKG is a simple and painless test that records your child's heartbeat and rhythm.) This allows us to schedule your child at the most appropriate clinic and location.
Before Your Appointment
Depending on the reason for your visit, a nurse may contact you before your child's appointment to review their health information and prepare for the upcoming visit. During this call, we will:
- Review recent tests and results
- Ask about medical and family history
- Request medical records, if necessary. (We'll share what information we need and how you can ask your child's current care team for it.)
- Share details about your child's appointment, including if they need to do anything before their visit (such as fasting or avoiding certain meals or caffeine). Most children do not need to prepare for their appointment.
- Provide a list of anything you may need. This may include medical records, insurance information, medication list, gym shoes (for exercise stress test), or other items.
We'll also answer questions you have before your child's visit. Of course, you're welcome to call any time before or after your child's visit. Many families also find it helpful to keep a list of questions they have for their child's care team. This helps them remember what they want to talk to the doctor about. It can even help ease any anxiety you may be feeling before your child's visit.
On the Day of Your Visit to the Arrhythmia Clinic
Arriving At Your Appointment
You will need to arrive about 30 minutes before your child's appointment—15 minutes to park and walk to our clinic (located at the Outpatient Services Building C-4, main hospital, Burnet Campus) and 15 minutes to check in at our registration desk. We encourage all families to use the parking garage, and park as near to the C Building elevators as possible.
If you are running late, please contact us.
At Your Appointment
Our focus at the Arrhythmia Clinic goes beyond diagnosing and treating your child. We'll get to know your child's and your entire family. We'll ask about symptoms, concerns, and what your child's goals are for treatment. Then, we'll work to create a plan that will help support your child and entire family.
Your child will meet with many members of our care team, including:
- Clinic greeter to warmly welcome you to the clinic and provide any support or activities while you wait
- Registration staff who make sure we have all the accurate information for your child
- EKG technician who will do an EKG on your child
- Medical assistant or registered nurse who will gather your child's information. This includes:
- Blood pressure
- Heart rate
- Oxygen levels
- Respiratory rate
- Medication list
- Family and patient history
- Current symptoms and reason for your visit
Then, you will meet with your child's electrophysiologist, who will lead their care. Together, you'll discuss the information you have shared with our team. The physician will also do a physical examination to better understand your child's overall health. Then, your child's doctor will discuss test results and share their insight on a diagnosis and possible steps forward.
We welcome both your child and you to share any questions, concerns, or insights throughout this conversation (and all others that follow). Our goal is to create a treatment plan that's right for your child.
Your first visit can last anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour, and in some cases a little longer. We may order additional testing, based on your child's symptoms and testing. We will do our best to schedule any necessary, additional testing on the day of your appointment to our clinic. If we are unable to add on testing that day, we will ask you to return on another day. Our schedulers will assist you in getting these tests scheduled at our check out desk.
Typically, we will call you with results in the following days. This timeframe can vary based on the test ordered and on how long results take to review.
After Your Visit to the Arrhythmia Clinic
You will receive an "After Visit Summary" at the end of your appointment, which includes important information about upcoming appointments, referrals to providers if needed, and all medications (including new prescriptions). It will also include contact information for your child's care team.