When is the best time to find a care provider for your baby, and what questions should you ask? Elaine Kudnick, APRN with Renown Pediatrics, explains.
Finding the right pediatric care provider is an important step in your baby’s health journey. We asked Elaine Cudnik, advanced practice nurse practitioner with Renown Medical Group – Pediatrics, to explain how to navigate this important step.
When is an appropriate time to start looking for a care provider for your baby?
It’s smart to start looking for a care provider while you are still pregnant. You will have enough going on after you have the baby, so having someone you’ve already met and established trust with will be important. I recommend parents start looking for a care provider when mom is about seven or eight months pregnant. At this point in the pregnancy, you will likely have a better idea of what you want in a care provider. You’ll have time to do your homework and find the best provider fit for you and your baby.
Why is interviewing care providers so important?
It’s a good idea to learn about a potential care provider’s practice and philosophy because you will be visiting the office many times, especially in the first few years of your baby’s life. The care provided ranges from preventative care for healthy kids to medical care for children when they are ill. Your pediatric care provider is also there to provide physical, mental and emotional support, which is why it’s important to find a care provider you trust. The interviews are usually very brief, about 10 minutes, so it’s worth it to schedule interviews with a few care providers so you can get a feel for the different personalities and approaches offered by care providers in your community.
What are some questions you should ask a potential care provider?
Here are some basic questions to get you started when interviewing a care provider. Friends and family are also a great resource and you can ask them what they’ve found to be the most helpful or important in a care provider.
- What is your educational background and training?
- What hospital would you admit my child to in an emergency?
- What is your philosophy on things such as vaccines and antibiotics?
- Is there someone I can reach in your office if I have a question after hours?
- Do you respond to questions by email?
- Do you have same-day sick appointments?
- Do you take my insurance?
After you’ve completed the interview, ask yourself how you felt about it. Did the communication flow naturally? Was the office staff welcoming and was the office clean? Was the waiting room kid-friendly? Did the care provider seemed rushed? Let your gut be your guide and you’ll find the right care for you and your baby.