What Makes For A Good Rheumatology Clinic For Young People Aged 10 To 19 Yearsfrom Their Perspective

Clinics need to be a places where you can learn about your condition and how you can make living with your condition as easily and comfortably as possible. The people in the clinic need to treat young people with respect and with good manners. When you leave a clinic you should feel you have learned something new about your condition. I also feel that clinics should give information on work for young people with a chronic condition.

Lot's of fun, games, fast service, magazines, more teen books—and a water cooler wouldn't be bad either!"

A good rheumatology clinic would have people who would make you feel welcome and make you laugh so you're not so stressed.

A good clinic has friendly people, light colors, cool magazines and nice doctors.

All the people that help us—care for us. They try to treat us like adults even when we want to cry or shout.

The essential ingredient in any clinic is to meet others who are similar to you that you can talk to. This in turn results in a more confident approach to going to clinic as supposed to fear. Also, the waiting areas need to be more adult or young person orientated as supposed to being geared to children and people of an older generation. Also, a multidisciplinary team that can provide the close interaction and support young people need is crucial. Probably the most important of all though is that clinic consultation times need to be longer so that the patient doesn't feel rushed. If this is achieved, then a much more relaxed informal, organized and well-structured clinic will benefit all young people.

I would enjoy a clinic that involved meeting fellow arthritics, a social and accommodating clinic, yet efficient.

The doctors looking after me are very different from the ones looking after older people with rheumatic conditions. They sit down at the beginning of the appointment and ask how you are. They have a general chat with you, which makes me feel more at ease whereas in an adult clinic they go straight into what seems to be the problem at the moment, then what they ask can do to help or make me feel better. I think the Rheumatology clinic is good for young people because it makes them feel more of an adult because it's not called a children's clinic, but also as they get older it helps them to prepare for when they move to an adult clinic.

Since the introduction of the adolescent clinic, life in general has improved for me. I have met other young people who are in the same situation as I am, which has provided me with a network of people other than my parents I can depend on for support and advice.

In the past three years I have been attending the adolescent clinic here. I see more sympathetic doctors and other health care professionals who understand the difference between a ten-year-old and a fifteen-year-old.

I believe that the Adolescent Clinic could develop its services in the following ways:

■ Offer careers advice

■ Offer counselling to the parents of patients

■ Provide teaching of medical student doctors and other health care professionals

■ Have appointments with a group of young people that I am familiar with and then rotate them around. This provides the opportunity to improve young people's social life.

In the adolescent clinic, I have met some other people with the same problem. Also, throughout the hospital there are various projects taking place where you can meet other adolescents with different problems. I believe that these projects are fantastic way to get to know people, and this makes my social life better so I don't have to stay in the house. Adolescent clinics should take place in every hospital and in every department where there are adolescents.

The whole team has to be able to work together, and the patients have to work with the doctors by telling them what's wrong or else the doctors can't help. The doctors should listen to the patients' ideas, and the patients should listen to the doctors' because the doctors' ideas normally help make people feel better. The patients have to feel able to trust the doctors with the private stuff they tell them, and the patients have to trust the medical advice. Everyone has to have respect for each other. The doctors all need to have a good sense of humor, and not be strict and boring.

It's all for babies and kids, it's all like teddies all over the wall, and when you get to your teens, you don't want to see the teddies and rattles and dolls.

Just really simple things like, you know, because . . . if we had magazines, we could actually read them. That makes you feel a bit more at ease.

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