When a child has a urologic issue, their
care becomes a vital part of their physical and emotional growth. But how do
you provide quality care for a urologic condition that stays with a child into
teen years and beyond? For many teens, transitioning away from their pediatric
urologist can be unfamiliar and a lot to handle. Your teen may still seek urologic
care into their adult years if they have urologic birth defects and anomalies,
neurologic diseases affecting bladder function, ongoing neurologic issues.
Children born with problems of the urinary tract may need to see a
urologist into the adult years to help maintain healthy kidneys and bladder.
Teens who have ongoing bladder and kidney problems related to neurologic
diseases should also keep seeing a urologist. Some urologic problems may
carry over from childhood, but new issues linked to growth can also happen. These
could be problems with urinary and kidney functions as well as organ and
tissue development. Teens with ongoing urologic issues may feel nervous about
the thought of having to find someone new to take care of their urologic needs.
These are normal feelings. Your pediatric urologist may recommend a urologist he or she feels has the knowledge to take
good care of you. As a way to help, most adult urologist spend a little more time
with transitioning pediatric patients during their first few visits. This helps
the urologist and patient learn more about each other and for the doctor to
learn more about the patient’s pediatric condition, such as what treatments have
worked or not worked in the past and what surgeries they may have had. Older
teens should feel comfortable with transitioning to their next phase of
care in the healthcare system. This is done in small steps, and your child’s
pediatric urologist can help along the way. Remember the three C’s when you
begin this transition. Communication: Start by talking to your teens primary
care doctor or pediatric urologist about when to start making the transition to
an adult urologist. Review the main issues of your teens
condition and include your teen in these conversations so they can know which
questions to ask about their condition. Keep records of treatments and surgeries
as your child grows. This information will ease the transition process.
Confidence: Help your teens start taking charge of their care. You can increase
their comfort level by teaching them how to schedule appointments manage medications and navigate the health insurance process. Confirmation: Confirm
that your teens health insurance policy will cover necessary medical care. Also,
confirm your teens new urologist is accessible and knowledgeable about your
child’s disease. Talk to your primary care doctor or pediatric urologist to
see how you can successfully take this next step in urologic care together. If
you would like more information about urologic conditions, please visit the
Urology Care Foundation website, UrologyHealth.org. The Urology Care Foundation
is the official foundation of the American Urological Association, and
the leading most trusted source of patient information.