When it comes to a baby or child’s health, laboratory tests can be crucial. They may be part of an annual well visit to monitor a pediatric patient’s health or ordered to diagnose specific conditions. Touchpoint Pediatrics offers professional laboratory testing services to families throughout Morristown, Summit, Berkeley Heights, Hoboken, and other areas in New Jersey. Learn more about pediatric lab work and how parents can properly prepare a child for it.
Reasons for Pediatric Lab Work
For parents or guardians, discussing lab work with a child can be a challenging conversation. However, our pediatricians may recommend additional testing for a number of reasons, such as:
- Routine checkups: Oftentimes, routine examinations involve lab work to ensure there are no unexpected changes in a patient’s health. Ordering lab tests gives the physician a better look at the patient’s current health status.
- Diagnosing conditions: Should an infant or child show symptoms of a medical condition, pediatricians may order lab tests to accurately diagnose it.
- Plan or evaluate treatments: An excellent way to determine whether a treatment is improving a medical condition is by routinely monitoring lab work. With the results of these tests, physicians can conclude if a new course of treatment is needed.
Preparing a Pediatric Patient for Lab Tests
While laboratory tests are intended to help patients and their health, they can feel scary for kids. If the child needs testing, there are steps parents and guardians can take to help ease their mind. These methods can calm the patient, making them feel less anxious in the office. Additionally, preparing the child ahead of their appointment can help make them less likely to resist the test, leading to more accurate results. Steps to take before this appointment include:
- Explain the test: Talking to a child and explaining what they can expect during the test can help them feel better prepared. Be sure to use language and terms that are appropriate for the patient’s age, allowing them to fully understand what will happen.
- Provide assurance: The presence of a trusted adult can be very calming for a young patient. If allowed, assure them you will be right there by their side. The physicians at Touchpoint Pediatrics do not recommend telling the child the test won’t hurt. Instead, try saying the test may hurt or pinch but only for a few seconds.
- Demonstrate the test at home: If the child is a visual learner, try demonstrating the test at home on a stuffed animal. This will give them a better understanding of what the test entails and what to expect.
- Schedule the test appropriately: To help make the patient as comfortable as possible, try scheduling the exam at an appropriate time. For example, schedule a time when the child is less likely to be hungry or overly tired. Should the child need to fast for the test, schedule it as early as possible in the morning.
- Bring a distraction: Remember to bring along a favorite toy or stuffed animal to help distract the patient from any discomfort that may occur.
- Plan a reward: To encourage cooperation, offer a reward or a surprise after the test. Thinking about this reward may distract the patient and give them something to look forward to.
Laboratory Testing At Touchpoint Pediatrics
At Touchpoint Pediatrics, we offer families a variety of lab testing services. To treat a wide range of medical conditions, our basic in-house laboratory is equipped to perform several tests, including:
- Strep tests
- RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus)
- Rapid flu tests
- Finger-stick glucose tests
Should the patient need more extensive laboratory testing, a physician will provide a lab request form. Touchpoint Pediatrics has an onsite, third-party, pediatric phlebotomist. Whenever a patient needs blood work, parents can choose to have to complete their child’s lab tests at the office. If they prefer, they can complete these tests at a free-standing blood testing laboratory, such as Quest Diagnostics or Labcorp, instead.
To accommodate Touchpoint Pediatrics’ patients, a pediatric phlebotomist is in the office from Tuesday through Saturday.
If families are unsure which laboratory to use, we recommend contacting the patient’s insurance provider. The following links may be useful, as well:
Learn More about Touchpoint Pediatrics Lab Testing Services
Located in Chatham, NJ, and serving families throughout Morristown, Summit, Berkeley Heights, Hoboken, and beyond, Touchpoint Pediatrics offers high-quality and comprehensive health services, including laboratory testing. Should the patient require further testing, the dedicated health team can help every step of the way. For more information about pediatric lab work, contact the office today.