Questions to ask Doctors

 

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Seeing a doctor can be a bit intimidating even if you go with someone! This section is designed to answer some of those questions and give you a feel for what to expect.

 

Three of the most important pieces of information in this section are:

1. You do not need a doctor's referral to go to an abortion clinc. (Except in Cairns - you can get a referral from your GP, FPQ or Cairns Sexual Health Service)

2. If times are tough, you can ask your doctor to bulk bill any blood tests or scans they send you to have. Please ask nicely though.

3. You have a right to confidential services. Just because you are young does not mean doctors can tell your parents without your consent.

 

Click through these tabs to find out heaps of information about what doctors can do and what to expect.

Or

New South Wales Kids + Familes made a video with this information too...

Check it out!!

website video300

 

 

Last edited on: 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

 

There are few things to do before you head to the doctors. These aren't too tough, but will make a big difference to making everything run that bit smoother.

1. Scope out your family medical history – has anyone had heart troubles? Diabetes? High blood pressure? Anything else?

2. Write down any medications you are on.

3. Try and figure out the first date of your last period (don't stress if you can't - a blood test can work it out for you).

 

Then...

You will need a Medicare card for your doctor’s appointment or the costs will be significantly higher. If you’re still on your parents’ card and you’re scared to ask them for it, anyone can ring 132 011, press 6 (general enquiries), and get their card number (even if you’re under 16 years old) and your parents will not know. (A record of a doctor’s visit will be on the family history however it won’t specify what the consultation was about).

When ringing for the card number, the staff will ask for proof of identity. They will want info like your full name & date of birth, what other names are on the card, your address and maybe a bit about what medical history might be on the card. They want to establish you are who you say you are.

If you ask nicely– a kind nurse, receptionist, teacher, GP or youth worker could ring for you.

 

 

Want your own Medicare card?

You can get your own Medicare card at 15. You will need to fill out a Medicare Copy/Transfer Application Form.  There is a PDF at the top of this page that can help you fill in this form (a cheat sheet for some of the trickier questions).  

You will need to print off the form and fill it out. Return it to any Medicare Service Centre - listed here or if you live remotely, mail to Department of Human Services, GPO Box 9822, Brisbane 4000.

You can get a new Medicare number immediately by visiting a Department of Human Services location in person. They will issue with a card number and post the card in the mail once it is made.

 

 

 

Last edited on: 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

 

Reception staff are usually the first people you will contact in the doctors surgery. It is here that they will get you to fill in any paperwork that is required, present your Medicare card and you will pay at the end of the appointment. If there are multiple doctors at this surgery, these staff could be helpful in guiding you towards a doctor of your preference.

If you aren't sure of something or need help filling in forms, please ask!

When picking a doctor, you may wish to ‘shop’ around and find a doctor that suits your needs. Have a think about if you want:

  • A male or female doctor
  • A younger or older doctor
  • A doctor close to home or further away
  • A doctor recommended by a friend or one that no one knows

Ask your friends if they have a doctor they like. Word of mouth is usually a good way to find a good doctor.

 

Sometimes you'll have to wait awhile before you see the doctor. Bring something along with you to keep you occupied. Your phone, a book, a game. You might feel uncomfortable waiting for so long, but remember that most other people in the waiting room also want to blend into the wallpaper, so if you don’t want to be seen, just keep your head down and busy with something else.

Last edited on: 

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

 

What does a consultation (doctor's visit) involve?

  • They might get you to take a pregnancy test to confirm (via a urine stick or a blood test)
  • Weight and blood pressure might be taken if you have talked about continuing the pregnancy.
  • You might have an external exam – this is where the doctor pushes on your stomach to try and estimate how many weeks you might be.
  • You might have in internal exam – where the doctor examines inside your vagina to try and estimate how many weeks you might be.
  • A coversation about your options if you are unsure what you want to do with the pregnancy. All three options, abortion, adoption and parenting should be discussed in an unbiased way.
  • If you forget to ask a question while at the doctors, you don’t have to specifically go back for another visit just to ask. You can ring the doctor’s surgery and ask. For example “Hi there, my name is…. And I’m a patient of Dr…. I forgot to ask one question, could you please get him to call me on 04** *** ***? Thank you very much”

 

 

Something to remember: Doctors look at peoples bits and pieces all day long. You might feel embarrassed but the doctor will unlikely give you a second thought. In their experience, you are VERY unlikely to have the weirdest, oddest, biggest, smallest bits they've seen.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

 

Questions doctors might ask in relation to a pregnancy:

  • What was the date of your last period?
  • When did you have unprotected sex?
  • Who might you have discussed your pregnancy with?
  • Are you in a relationship?
  • Have you discussed this with the man involved?
  • Are you on the Pill?
  • Are you experiencing any symptoms?
  • Do you have any smelly discharge (this could be a sign of a STI)?

If you have trouble understanding the doctor – they might be talking in a ‘doctor language’ or English may be their second language, try and ask them to speak slower, to explain the information in a different way or get them to write it down.

Only leave the consultation when you feel all your questions have been answered.

Some doctors will try and usher you out before you are ready. You have a right to have all the information before you leave.

You be in charge.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

 

Under 16’s:

  • If you are under 16, doctors and workers get extra worried if you tell them that you are having sex. This means that they may be required to report this information to Child Safety. We are happy to talk with you about this if you want any further information about what to do.
  • There is a very high chance you will need to have your parent/s involved at some point if you are under 16 and pregnant. The doctor cannot tell them without your consent. Click here for strategies for how to tell your parents you are pregnant.
  • If your parents aren't aware or won't support you getting to the doctor, please give us a call to help you navigate this process.

 

Gillick Competence:

Gillick Competence is a system that helps young poeple who's parents can't or won't consent.  This term is used by a doctor or professional  when they are trying to establish if you understand the health, legal, economical or lifestyle implications of the decision you are making. They want to make sure that you are knowledgeable enough to make a decision for yourself. If they think you are, then you don’t need your parents consent.

 

 

 

Last edited on: 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

 

Confidentiality:

  • You have the right to confidentiality even if you are under 16 and have unsupportive parents.
  • Doctors and nurses cannot show your patient records to anyone and this is governed by very strict privacy laws. In exceptional circumstances, (like when a doctor or nurse think you might be in serious danger), they might feel there is a need to pass information on. Even if they do, they must talk to you first before they tell anyone else.
  • If you want to go to the doctor without your parent or carer it might be a good idea to call in advance to check that the doctor is happy to see you and keep the appointment private.
  • If your family sees the same doctor and you are worried that they won’t keep the information confidential, it may be an idea to see a new doctor if that is possible, so you don’t feel you have to hold any information back.

If you are worried about any of this, please call us on (07) 3357 5377 or 1800 177 725 and we can explain it further or help you if you feel this confidentiality has been broken.

Last edited on: 

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

 

Red Flags (things to be suspicious of):

  • If a doctor expresses their opinion to you about if you should terminate or continue the pregnancy
  • Any mention of their religious beliefs is inappropriate
  • If you feel insulted or upset by what they have said or how they have treated you
  • If a doctor refuses to give you information about all options – abortion, adoption & parenting. If they don’t give you information you are after, the doctor MUST offer alternate care (eg: send you to another doctor) in a TIMELY manner (ideally that day) and MUST remain civil and respectful at all times.

Most doctors are respectful. However, if you have had a bad experience, did not like the care you were given or have left with more questions than answers, please see another doctor and explain your circumstances. Being treated poorly is not ok! And this is a timely matter; you have to make a plan about this pregnancy soon.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015