Plan Your Visit
We are excited to have the opportunity to provide rheumatology care through a telehealth visit. We recognize that this presents a new challenge for how we evaluate you and your child. To help us get the most information from the visit we would like to let you know about a few things before your appointment.
The telehealth visits will be conducted over ZOOM and you should receive an email with a link to your appointment. If you don’t get the link check your Spam/Junk email folder and if you still can’t find it just call our office at 205-638-9438.
We want to collect as much of the same information as possible during the telehealth visits as we do during an in person visit. This means we will be asking questions about how you think you are doing overall (parent/patient global score), your pain score, and how long you have morning stiffness. Even though the visit is through a video, we can still do a physical exam to look for swelling, rashes, limitations, problems with walking, etc. Make sure that you have space to walk around and help holding the camera if we need to see certain movements or activities. Your nurse practitioner may talk with you before your visit with the doctor. She may call you on the phone about 30 minutes prior to your appointment time. If she does not, your doctor will ask you these questions during the visit.
If you have any questions, please call our office at 205-638-9438.
Thank you for your help and we look forward to seeing you at your visit!
In Person Visit
Check-in at the Clinic.
Bring with you to the appointment:
- Your doctor’s name(s).
- Your health insurance card.
- List of your child’s medication(s).
- Co-payment for insurance, if applies, and
- This letter to help you find the correct clinic and doctor.
A typical specialty care appointment will take 2–3 hours. Tests will require additional time.
Please arrive 15–30 minutes early for registration and parking.
Please remove nail polish and fake nails prior to your appointment.
You should register no later than 3 days in advance at ChildrensAL.org/Rheumatology
Rhematology Clinic is located at Outpatient Services at Park Place
In order to better prepare our patients for transition to future adult Rheumatology care, we wanted to standardize how our transition education and visits are conducted, here at the Children’s of Alabama Pediatric Rheumatology Clinic. While we will have ongoing communication with parents of our adolescent patients, it is important to also set aside, intentional, independent time with the patients to address important aspects of care.
It is our goal for adolescent and young adult patients to learn about and eventually manage their own Rheumatology care. Working together can prepare your children to become independent, healthy adults.
Moving towards independence (ages 14–16)
It is developmentally appropriate that adolescent patients may feel embarrassed or hesitant to discuss certain issues with their parents. Such issues, however, are important to the adolescent patient’s overall health, and should be addressed. Issues in the areas of social, mental, and sexual health are especially important to discuss with a patient with Rheumatic diseases because of the potential impact on already complex health needs. At age 14, social workers and/or nurses will begin to have a visit, at least annually, with the adolescent patient to discuss these health areas while parents are out of the room. Some of the topics discussed may be kept confidential in accordance to Alabama Minor Consent and Confidentiality Laws, which are available upon request. The social workers and nurses will encourage further discussion with parents as needed.
Independent visits (ages 16-18)
Starting at age 16, the adolescent patient will begin independent clinic visits, where a portion of the visit will be without the parents. This will allow for an opportunity for the team to speak directly to the patient and encourage discussion with the Rheumatology team. These visits will also help to determine readiness and identify areas where further education may be needed. We suggest that the adolescent prepare a list of questions for the doctor and Rheumatology team for each visit. Parent support of these independent visits is important to an overall successful transition.
Download the Transition Readiness Assessment Questionnaire (TRAQ) (PDF)
The young adult patient and the pediatric rheumatologist will discuss ideal timing of transfer of care to an adult rheumatologist. This typically occurs sometime after turning 18 years old. Your pediatric rheumatologist can help you decide which adult rheumatologist to see. Factors that influence this decision include geographic location, insurance changes, and disease-specific needs. If you are interested in continuing to receive rheumatology care in Birmingham, ask your pediatric rheumatologist about the Bridge to Adult Care from Childhood for Young Adults with Rheumatic Disease (BACC YARD) Program, a pediatric-to-adult rheumatology transition program between Children’s of Alabama and the Kirklin clinic at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.