What happens at your first visit
You can get directions to the clinic from the admitting desk in the lobby. Normally, patients are pre-registered and come straight to the clinic.
We may contact your family prior to your first visit to determine your learning needs. If needed, some families will need to return for more in-depth teaching on another day.
Plan on being at the hospital for at least three hours for your first clinic visit. Younger siblings may find this tiring, and although they are welcome, alternative babysitting arrangements may make your visit more comfortable.
Please let us know your questions and any way we can make your visit more comfortable.
Several things will happen at your first visit:
- physician, nurse and dietician meetings
- lab tests
Your child will be seen by a physician, a diabetes nurse educator and a diabetes dietitian. Each of these visits will last about 30–60 minutes. You will be with your young child for the entire visit. Adolescents and their parents are welcome to see the clinic staff separately as well.
Your child will have an A1C done by finger poke, and you will receive the results in clinic. If your child is afraid of needles, there are topical anesthetics that can help. EMLA® and Ametop™ are effective topical anesthetics when applied one to two hours prior to the “needle poke”. Ask the nurse or doctor about this when you arrive.
Finally, your child will go to the laboratory for (non-fasting) blood and possibly urine testing. A detailed report of your child’s assessment will be sent to your family and referring doctors, and to other health professionals at your request.
It is important to your child to make this visit as informative as possible, so the adult(s) who come with her/him should have the best knowledge of the history. If possible, bring previous height and weight measurements.
Please bring the following to each clinic visit:
your BC CareCard/Service Card
- the blood glucose meter (if you already have one)
- if you are already doing blood sugar testing, a written record of the logbook (at least two to three weeks’ worth)
- if your child is on an insulin pump or sensor, please download it prior to the visit
- your child's meal plan
Many parents find it helpful to bring a list of questions they would like to discuss when they are here.
You will meet several members of our team:
- clerical staff: to book appointments
- diabetes nurse educators: to help you understand your child's condition and treatment
- diabetes dietitians: to discuss lifestyle and nutrition for your child’s growth and development
- a social worker or counsellor: to help you cope with the stresses of your child’s condition and find practical financial and mental-health resources
- physicians (pediatric endocrinologists): who are specialists in childhood diabetes
Because BC Children's Hospital is a teaching hospital, you may also meet doctors-in-training (pediatric residents, endocrinology fellows and medical students), dietitian interns and student nurses.
Many of our patients or parents would like to see the social worker/counsellor on the first visit. If this is the case, please call her at 604-875-2345, x7091, so that she can book an appointment during the time you will be here.