What to Expect
A Typical First Day
Your first day at Texas Children’s will be a busy one. You will be greeted by the familiar voice of your nurse coordinator, finally putting a face with their name. Then, she will escort you (and your family) to imaging where you will meet your sonographer. Images will be taken. Your pediatric cardiologist (and other physicians if necessary) will arrive, evaluate the images and possibly ask for additional images. Then, in real time at your bedside, they will have a transparent conversation with you about your condition.
Through this open dialogue, we hope to answer all your questions, alleviate your concerns, and discuss treatment options. The same physicians you meet your first day will monitor your pregnancy, and be at your bedside when baby arrives.
After your imaging is complete and your plan has been discussed, you will sit down with your nurse coordinator, and plan for next steps.
From your first contact with Texas Children’s, you can expect excellence, partnership, and compassion. We recognize that your journey will not be easy, but with our expertise and empathetic care, we hope to make it more comfortable. Here’s how:
Peace of Mind. If you are coming to Texas Children’s for your baby’s screening, you’ve come to the right place. You can expect the same level of personal care and excellence as a diagnosed patient
Relational Care. Should you and your baby require a higher level of care, you will be assigned to a nurse coordinator. This expert support staff will be by your side the entire journey—on your first phone call, in the clinic when you arrive, and beside you during consultations and procedures. She will coordinate your appointments and answer your questions, any time. She is your advocate and you can trust her.
Answers. Learning of a potential abnormality can be frightening or overwhelming, and we understand that. Because of our abundant experience and expertise, we are equipped to anticipate and answer your questions. More importantly, we want to calm your worries and fears. Your nurse coordinator will partner with you to navigate and advocate for you to gain the needed answers to your questions and connect you with the key physicians and teams to best prepare you. She will share stories of our families who have been through what you are going through, and are now on the other side. She can also connect you with a Fetal Center family that has been through a similar journey
Comprehensive Planning. Our staff will work with you to schedule appointments, making the most efficient use of your time. Well before your visit, you will receive a detailed agenda including maps and parking instructions. If you are out of town, we can also assist with travel plans.
Transparent, Real-time Communication. You are the most important member of your treatment team, so you must be informed and allowed to be an active partner in your care. During your imaging visits, your physician will be present, along with the sonographer and your nurse. Results will be discussed with you and your family in real time, openly and honestly. Your voice will help determine your treatment path. As care continues, your family will be involved in team meetings related to your and your baby’s treatment.
Integrated, Multidisciplinary Approach. Cases are routinely reviewed by an interdisciplinary cardiology team including cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons and neonatologists. This approach gives you access to other specialties, before the need arises. Working together, they foresee potential challenges and plan for optimal outcomes. Because of this tightly integrated team, we can quickly respond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Close Monitoring and Releasing. During your pregnancy, you will be closely monitored by your pediatric cardiologist and subsequent diagnostic tests will be conducted as needed. Our doctor will be available should any questions arise. If we believe you can be followed by your referring obstetrician, we will communicate with them thoroughly, seamlessly returning your care. If care needs to transition, your coordinator will work with you and your referring physician for a smooth transition.
Mom and Baby Together—Always. At Texas Children’s, you and your baby will never be separated. We offer the highest level of maternal care and the highest level of neonatal, pediatric and fetal care—all in the same location. Your family and support network is your most valuable asset; our vision is to keep you together and comfortable.
Meeting Your Individual Needs. We strive to proactively anticipate your needs and help meet them, so you can focus on recovery. Whether it’s a physical need like lactation help or monitoring your child so you can step away, spiritual assistance, social issues, or logistical problems, we have resources to assist you 24/7.