Managing medical appointments

Planning a successful appointment

When you see a doctor or nurse for the first time, they'll ask you lots of questions about your problem such as:

  • how often it happens,
  • when it happens, and;
  • how long it's been happening
  • They'll also ask how much you drink or what type of foods you eat.

Our tips for you

  1. Talk to your parents or carer about what you'd like to find out from the appointment and what you'll need to tell the doctor or nurse about your problem. Use our Appointment Planner to write this out.
  2. Make sure you understand what the doctor or nurse is saying. If they use medical words, ask them to explain them, or get whoever is supporting you to ask if you prefer.
  3. Ask to see the same doctor or nurse each time - this can help you get to know them so you feel more comfortable talking to them.
  4. If you don’t like the professional you have seen, you can ask to see someone different next time. It is important you feel comfortable with everyone who is there to support you.
  5. Be open and honest. The doctor or nurse is there to help you. They won't judge you and won't make you do anything you don’t want to do.

What do other teenagers say about their appointments?

Here are some things teenagers have told us about their appointments - some were positive experiences and some weren't.

If ever you have a bad experience, try and follow the advice above or use the appointment planner. If you are still leaving appointments feeling sad or frustrated, talk to your parents or carers or anyone else who supports you.

Positive experiences

Ben: “Once I got to know my doctors and my nurses I felt more comfortable talking to them.”

Amy: “The language we used and everything made it easier. It made it kind of child friendly I suppose, which is what they should be doing.”

Patrick: “They are easy to talk to, you sort of need to tell them, otherwise you won’t find anything to stop it really.”

Negative experiences

Tom: “I don’t know what I get nervous about. I just feel awkward. When I first went to clinic, I was talking to that person for the very first time, I didn’t know anything about them. All I knew was their name and that they were going to give me medical advice.”

Patrick: “It’s always a new person and they always say a different thing to what the other doctors said.”

Amelia: “I didn’t really like going, especially in the early phase, because you’re talking about very personal things with a stranger. But yes, I kind of got used to it.”

What if my doctor says there is nothing wrong?

There are lots of reasons why you might have a toileting problem. Sometimes, a doctor or nurse might not realise you have a bowel or bladder condition and think there's nothing wrong with you, which can be very frustrating.

If your doctor tells you there's nothing wrong, try to:

  • Get a referral. If you're seeing a GP, then you could ask to see a specialist doctor who knows more about bladders and bowels. You can ask your GP to refer you, or ask your parents to do this.
  • Get more information if you’re not sure what is 'normal' for your bladder or bowel. Learn more about these organs in the 'information on bowel and bladder problems' section.
  • Use a bladder or bowel diary to write down the symptoms you are experiencing. This can help provide evidence to any medical professionals you see.
  • Stay strong and remember you’re not alone. It can be really frustrating when you feel like you’re not being heard or supported.
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