What to Expect
What to expect before your appointment
- Get records and test results. We need information related to your child’s condition. Otherwise, you may need to reschedule or come for an extra visit.
- Bring copies or ask your child’s primary care provider to fax to 206-985-3121.
- Examples include growth charts, lab results and imaging studies such as bone age scans.
- For Diabetes Clinic visits only: Download your child’s glucose meter or pump at home and bring the record of your child’s blood sugar levels with you.
- Learn more about what to do before your appointment.
Who will my child see?
- Attending Pediatric Endocrinologist – licensed doctor with specialty training in childhood problems with growth, puberty, diabetes, or other disorders related to the hormones and glands that make them. The doctor sees patients in clinic and oversees their care in the hospital.
- Fellow – licensed doctor who is getting extra training in childhood endocrinology. If your child sees a fellow, they also will see an attending physician.
- Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant – advanced practice provider (APP) who sees patients independently in clinic and has experience caring for children with endocrinology disorders.
- Nurse – partners with the doctor or APP to answer questions. Gives information about your child’s disease, medicines, tests and care. You may meet the nurse during the clinic visit or talk to them on the phone.
- Medical Assistant (MA) – checks temperatures, height, weight and blood pressure. Helps you get settled in an exam room and ready for the provider. Answers some questions by phone.
- Research Coordinator – Helps patients who want to take part in research studies. If your child meets the criteria for a study, a research coordinator will meet with you.
- Dietitian – provides nutrition evaluation and support. Works with you and your child to make a plan for nutritional health, growth and development.
- Social Worker – skilled counselor who provides emotional support and helps get the resources you need.
How long is a visit to Endocrinology and Diabetes?
This depends on the type of appointment and how many providers your child needs to see. Many visits take 30 to 45 minutes. If your child is meeting with their full diabetes team, it can last 3 hours.
What to bring
For diabetes visits, see Welcome to the Diabetes Clinic (PDF) for details on what to bring.
For visits about other conditions, please bring:
- Copies of your child's growth chart and height and weight records. We will keep copies. You can ask your primary care provider to fax these to us at 206-985-3121.
- Test results related to your child’s condition, if your primary care provider has not sent them already. This includes results of lab tests and imaging studies.
- Medicines or a list of them. Include nonprescription items like vitamins. Include the name, dose (amount) and instructions.
- Forms you need to have signed by our providers, like forms for school.
- Snacks for your child in case the appointment lasts longer than expected. Food is also available from the cafeteria at the Seattle hospital campus and coffee shop at the Bellevue Surgery Center.
- Books, small toys or tablets for your child to play with during their visit. The first clinic appointment may be a longer visit, depending on your child’s needs.
What happens during a clinic visit?
For what to expect at a visit for diabetes care, see Welcome to the Diabetes Clinic (PDF).
For other visits, here’s what you can expect:
- After check-in, a medical assistant (MA) will take you and your child to an exam room. The MA will check your child’s height, weight and vital signs.
- Next, your child’s healthcare provider will ask about your child’s health history and examine your child. Meet our Endocrinology and Diabetes team.
- Some children may need blood tests or other tests. Sometimes we refer children to other specialists at Seattle Children’s. It depends on your child’s condition.
- We will try to answer all your questions. Please ask if anything is not clear.
Can my child take part in research studies?
Our program has many research studies to increase our understanding of childhood endocrine disorders and improve diagnosis and treatment.
If your child meets the criteria for a study, we will ask if you are interested to learn more. If so, a research coordinator will talk with you and your child. Research is voluntary. Your child will get the same quality of care whether or not you take part. We welcome your questions about research.
Will we have a treatment plan after the first visit?
- Sometimes we can talk about a treatment plan during your child’s first visit. But some children need follow-up clinic visits and more testing before doctors can decide the best treatment.
After the appointment
- Before you leave, we will give you information about what will happen next.
- Each provider who sees your child will write notes for your child’s medical chart. We will send a copy to your child’s primary care provider.
- If you have questions between clinic visits, you can call 206-987-2640.
- If your child needs follow-up visits, you can schedule on your way out or call 206-987-2640 later.
How will we find out about test results?
- We will call you with test results or discuss them at your next clinic visit.
- If you use MySeattleChildren’s, you can check online for some results. If you would like to have an online account, tell us at your next visit. We will register you and send you email to set up an account.
What if I need to cancel or reschedule?
Call 206-987-2640 as soon as possible.
Preparing your child
Directions, parking and entering
- Find your location in our map and directions section.
- Arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to allow time for registration.
For more information on visiting Seattle Children’s clinics, please see Your Child's Clinic Visit.
Call 206-987-2640 if you have questions for our team.
Patients Newly Diagnosed With Diabetes
When your child is newly diagnosed with diabetes, you need to learn how to safely care for them.
- Families of children who are very young or sick will get this teaching while in the hospital.
- If your child is at least 5 years old and otherwise healthy, your family will learn about diabetes care during a 2-day class. We help you schedule this class right away. Everyone who regularly cares for your child should attend the first day of class.
Learn what to expect and how to prepare for the Living With Diabetes class (PDF).
Preparing for Surgery
- If your child has adrenal insufficiency (such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia or Addison’s disease), call us at 206-987-2640 a week before surgery to learn how to prepare.
- Surgery for the Child with Diabetes: Before- and After-Surgery Care Steps (PDF) (Spanish)
- Top 10 Questions Kids Ask Before Surgery
- Learn more about what to expect if your child is having surgery.
- Amenities at the Bellevue Surgery Center and Seattle hospital campus.
Preparing for a Hospital Stay
- See tips on Where to Turn When Preparing for Your Child’s Hospital Stay from social worker Ashley Peters.
- Find out what you need to know about your child’s hospital stay.
- Learn about amenities at the Seattle hospital campus.