What to Expect at Your First Appointment at the Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic
Children are meant to play, run and be active. But when they get short of breath during the simplest activities, it can be frustrating for them and concerning for you. At the Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic, we work closely with children and families affected by pulmonary hypertension (PH). Here, we'll work together to create a treatment plan that's right for your child – one that takes into account their interests, goals and abilities.
We also understand that, as a parent, you'll likely have questions for us about your child's care. Our team of compassionate and dedicated professionals are here for you – even between your appointments. We've also built a vast library of resources to help your child and entire family understand their diagnosis.
During your child's first appointment, we'll discuss these resources and share more information about our approach to treating and managing PH. As a PH Center of Excellence in a nationally recognized institution, we hope that you find comfort in your care plan and leave with a better understanding of your child's condition and care plan.
Making an Appointment at the Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic
It's easy to make an appointment at our clinic. You can call us directly or your child's doctor may refer you.
Contact us today to schedule your child's appointment.
One of our staff members will call you before your child's appointment. During this initial conversation, we'll gather important information about your child's medical history, symptoms and concerns you may have. We may also talk with your child's doctor.
On the Day of Your Visit to the Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic
We understand that any doctor's appointment can be stressful. We're here to make your visit as easy as possible. Our child life specialists can help entertain your child and ease any fears they may have. We offer toys, games and other fun activities they may enjoy throughout their appointment.
Before Your Appointment
Most of the time, children are welcome to wear whatever they feel most comfortable in. Sometimes, we may ask your child to complete an exercise stress test, but we'll let you know before your appointment if your child needs to dress for physical activity.
Please plan to arrive about 10 to 15 minutes before your appointment. You will also need to plan for about 10 to 15 minutes to park and walk to our location. When you arrive, please check in at the C4 main clinic lobby.
Please call us if you are running late.
At Your Appointment
During your child's first appointment, the healthcare team will evaluate your child's care needs and prepare for their next steps for treatment. Most importantly, we take the time to get to know you and your child. You'll meet with several different providers and staff members on our team, each with a different role and responsibility – but all are united by a clear goal to provide proven and compassionate care that's tailored to your child. Your care team may include (along with many others):
- Attending physician
- Advanced practice provider
- Registered nurse
While every child's appointment is a little different, here is what a typical appointment looks like: (Our team will share additional details about your child's appointment before you arrive.)
- Your child may also be asked to complete medical tests, such as an echocardiogram, electrocardiogram (EKG) and exercise test. – this usually happens 1st
- A nurse will gather vitals and review medical history and current medications.
- One of our program’s fellows will meet with your child to gather more detailed information about their medical history and perform a physical exam.
- Researchers may share study opportunities, including potential clinical trials. – this would happen last if the parent/patient grants permission
- Once these tests and initial evaluations are complete, our team – led by our attending physician – will meet with your child and you again to discuss recommendations for treatment and a follow-up care plan. This may include referring your child for additional appointments, such as cardiac catheterization, cardiac MRI or appointments with other specialists.
This initial appointment typically takes about 2 hours.
After Your Visit to the Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic
You will receive an After Visit Summary before you leave, which includes important information about upcoming appointments or recommended tests. We typically see our patients every 3 to 6 months, depending on their care plan. These follow-up visits will most likely include repeat testing and a physical exam.
Between your child's visits, you can rest assured that we're always here. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you have about your child, their health and their treatment plan. We also have several resources for you and your family to review, including: