TRANSITION IS EVERYONE'S BUSINESS
Professor Kate Steinbeck, Adult Endocrinologist and Adolescent Medicine Champion, offers some practical tips for adult clinicians to help you stay engaged with young people:
Working in an adult setting means that you continue the process of effective self-management for young people. How you go about supporting young people with chronic conditions can influence how well they engage with you and your service. Good engagement means they are more likely to adhere to treatment and stay well, reducing unplanned hospital admissions.
Young people have come from family-centred health care, and need to adjust to a more independent environment. Some young people find this transition challenging and there are many things you can do to help young people adjust.
In the first few years of a young person’s adult health care, they may require extra support to remain engaged with your service. It takes time for young people to get to know and trust their new health team. Keeping parents/carers involved initially will encourage young people to keep attending appointments and provides young people with the family support they need to effectively self-manage.
As an adult health professional, you can lead the way with providing a youth friendly service that ensures optimum engagement to keep young people healthy and out of hospital.
ENGAGING YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR HEALTH CARE
Here are some tips on engaging young people:
Tip 1: Attend a joint transition clinic so the young person can meet you and the teams can have a smooth handover.
Tip 2: See young person with parent/carer for initial appointments if appropriate.
Tip 3: Treat young person as the expert. Complete the Young Person’s Checklist with them to see what areas they may need to work on with their self-management.
Tip 4: Encourage self-management – talk to the young person about what they know and don’t know.
Tip 5: Complete a HEEADSSS interview to identify protective and vulnerable factors.
Tip 6: Revise their transition plan and identify goals with the young person.
Tip 7: Be flexible, patient and understanding.
Tip 8: Adopt a friendly and non-judgmental attitude to foster a trusting and open relationship.
Here are some useful tools for you as an adult clinician and for your service: