Right to respectful care

It’s your right to be treated with respect during your health care visit – whatever that looks like to you!

What makes a situation comfortable can be different for every person, but what matters is you feel respected and listened to throughout your healthcare appointments. Whatever it looks like for you, you should feel comfortable talking to a provider and taking part in your healthcare appointment. These tips can help you make sure you’re comfortable at your visit and feel ok with what happens during your visit. A key to remember, when you go into a doctor’s visit, it is care for YOU.

You’re in control!

If your provider asks you questions you don’t want to answer, wants to do an exam or tests you’re uncomfortable with, or offers a treatment plan you don’t want, it’s ok to set boundaries and say no. The provider should inform you why they are asking the questions they are or requesting the exams and tests they need. You can always ask the provider why they want to know something, perform a particular test, or start a treatment plan. Knowing why may help you feel comfortable with the topic, test, or treatment. In the end, you have the right to accept or refuse treatment. Remember, this is care for you. And providers want to know what you need and what makes you feel comfortable (or uncomfortable) so they can best help you.

You can choose a new provider if you don’t like your current one.

It’s important to like and trust your provider so that you can feel comfortable asking questions and talking about challenging topics. It may take a few tries but you deserve to find the best provider for you!

In many situations, you have a choice on who is present for your appointment.

Do you want a parent or guardian to go to the appointment with you? Do you want them in the room with you? To step out for a few minutes during the appointment? Or to just wait in the waiting room? Would you rather have a friend come with you? It is your right to have a support person in the room or have a private conversation.

Even if you want your parent/guardian in the room for the visit, the provider may request to speak with you alone for part of the visit as part of their standard practice because they know that not all teens feel comfortable asking for this themselves. If for any reason you do not want to be alone with a provider, you can request that another member of the medical team join you for that portion of the visit.

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We hope to prepare you for all parts of your clinic visit, so you know what to expect before, during and after your appointment.