Ready SET (Start Empowering Teens) Go: Transition Program for Congenital Heart Disease Patients
Congenital heart disease (CHD) requires lifelong follow-up to prevent complications such as arrhythmias, heart failure, infection, stroke and premature death. At Cincinnati Children’s, we recognize how important it is for teens with CHD to be educated about and supported through transitioning from a child doctor to an adult provider. A crucial part of our Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) Program is our transition program for teens.
Ready SET (Start Empowering Teens) Go is a three-part transition program that we begin as teens are ready to accept more responsibility for their health. We develop a plan that is specific to each patient’s interests, goals and readiness for transition. Teens receive evaluation, education, coordination and clinical support to ensure the transition to adult care is smooth. Our goal is to help provide teens with tools to make them independent in their own self-care.
How Does the Program Work?
Ready SET Go targets cardiac patients ages 14 years and older who are being followed by a Cincinnati Children's physician. Here’s what you can expect when you go through Ready SET Go:
- Who: A transition nurse, with experience in cardiology and special training in the teen transition process, works with a Transitional Medicine physician and the teen’s healthcare team.
- When: We evaluate how ready you are for transition between the ages of 14-18. We do this for all CHD patients this age or by referral from a Cincinnati Children's doctor.
- Where: We evaluate teens for transition and provide education during routine CHD clinic visits. You’ll be given information on health education seminars and support groups for both teens and their caregivers.
- What: We develop a plan with you that is specific to each teen. The plan is based on each patient’s learning needs and transition goals. The caregiver is an important part of the transition process, and we offer support to them as well. We aim to make sure teens have a good knowledge of their medical condition, including any corrective surgery, ongoing medical management, lifestyle choices and healthcare.
Additional Resources for Teens
- Congenital heart transition website: iHeartChange.org
- Adult Congenital Heart Association website: http://www.achaheart.org
- CHD facts: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/heartdefects/facts.html