We found this useful article in the February 2003 edition of Parenting Magazine and thought it worthwhile to re-post since the information is still relevant.

If you’re in the midst of a health crisis with a young child, it can be very difficult to keep track of what the doctors are telling you. “Parents tend to do a lot of head nodding because they don’t want to seem ignorant,” says Andy Spooner, M.D., director of the Division of General Pediatrics at the University of Tennessee at Memphis and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics. Here’s what to do instead:

notebookBe assertive. Ask questions about any treatments or procedures your child’s specialists may recommend. Don’t hesitate to have them repeat anything that you don’t understand. Remember, doctors want you to be able to make informed decisions.

Keep a notebook with you to write down any questions and concerns you have—for both doctors and nurses.

Recruit your spouse or another family member to serve as your second pair of ears during meetings with your child’s health care providers. Another person will probably hear things that you don’t.

Ask to meet with the hospital’s social worker, who can help coordinate whatever follow-up care is required after your little one has been released. She can also help you find everything from support groups [like the Tender Loving Care Foundation] to financial aid.