Transition Statement and Approach

The Colorado Sickle Cell Treatment and Research Center wants to make sure that as you become an adult you are able to take good care of yourself. This includes learning how to be in charge of your own health, working with your doctors and other people who can help you get what you need to be as healthy as possible. You will also eventually need to see providers who know how to take care of adults. We want to help you through all the steps to make sure this goes well for you.

We work with patients, age 12 to 26, and their families. Together we will prepare you to start making decisions about your own health, rather than your parents doing it all the time. The Transition Coordinator will meet with you and your family at least once a year. Together we will develop a plan to help you figure out how to use the health care system. We will also think about things that change as you become an adult, like moving out of the house, going away to school or starting a job. When you turn 18, you are officially in charge of your own healthcare. We will also help you create a plan to be sure all your regular medical treatments keep going. We will make sure that both your pediatric and adult doctors and their staff have copies of the plan.

Image of text that says From caterpillar to butterflyAt age 18, you are a legal adult. We encourage you to keep your family involved in your care; however, we will need your permission to talk to them about any of your personal or health information.

Active Participant in Clinic Visits

Being an active participant in your clinic visits now will help you transition from your parent/guardian making decisions about your health to you making your own decisions.  It will also improve your ability to take care of yourself and manage your condition.

An active participant means becoming involved in the visit.  Often when you were younger, your parent/guardian and the provider (doctors, nurses, and social workers) did most of the talking about you and your care.  Now as you get older, you should start to join in the conversation.  

To become an active participant means you should do the following 4 things:

To Become an Active Participant ...Helpful Tips
  1. Listen all the time. Do not play on your phone or sit in the corner.
  • Turn off phone, videos and music
  • Sit up
  • Look at the person talking
  1. Answer questions that are asked. Ask your parent/guardian if you do not know the answer.
  • Ask if you do not understand what is being asked
  • If you don’t remember or do not know the questions, state you are not sure and ask your parent/guardian for help. Do not shrug your shoulders or turn away.
  1. Ask questions. If you don’t understand a word or what is being said, ask for clarification.
  • Write down questions before the appointment.  Discuss potential questions with your parent/guardian.
  • Keep a note pad where you write down questions that come up between appointments. 
  • Ask your provider about their favorite sports team, animal, color or if they have a pet if you do not have a medical question.  It is important to learn and feel comfortable asking questions.
  1. Repeat what you heard.  In your own words, tell the provider what you understood.
  • Say “If I understand you…” or “Let me get this correct…”
  • In your own words tell the provider what you heard
  • Do this several times while talking with the provider


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