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Hope and Health

Your source to help with your family's health from WVU Medicine Children's

Hope & Health
Articles and Updates from WVU Medicine Children's

06/2/2024 | S. Grace Baldwin, MSN, APRN

Behind the Doors of Pediatric Cardiology: Your Child’s Heart Center Appointment

It can be scary and overwhelming to hear your child needs to be seen by a pediatric cardiologist, which is simply a heart doctor for kids.

Our team at the WVU Medicine Children’s Heart Center wants you and your child to feel comfortable during your appointment, and we want you to know most problems we see in the Pediatric Cardiology Clinic can be properly diagnosed, evaluated, and treated without leaving our doors.

Here is what you can expect at your first visit, so you and your children can prepare.

Before Your Visit

The cardiologist will review your chart prior to the appointment. Based upon the reasons for your child’s doctor wanting them to be seen at our center, the cardiologist may order some testing to give them more information. This testing will be done before your appointment time, and may include an ECG, echocardiogram, or chest x-ray. Don’t worry about finding where to go – these will all be done within our clinic.

Day of Appointment

Your appointment will be on the fourth floor of our Medical Office Building on the WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital campus. After checking in at the desk, a member of our team will bring you into the clinic. We will check your child’s weight and height, then show you to your room. A medical assistant will check your child’s blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen saturation. These numbers are crucial in helping the cardiologist make a diagnosis.

Next, if the cardiologist has ordered any testing, it will usually be performed before you see the doctor. You will go to a different room for an echocardiogram or chest x-ray. An ECG can be done in your room.

The doctor will review the results of these studies prior to coming into your room. They will come into your room, introduce themselves, and do a thorough examination of your child. They will also ask some questions about your child’s history, your family history, and more. These questions will help the cardiologist make a proper diagnosis, so it is important to answer them completely.

With all the information gathered during the appointment, the cardiologist will provide a diagnosis. They will explain it to you and answer any questions you have. Based on the diagnosis, follow-up and further testing may be ordered.

After Your Visit

If you are enrolled in MyWVUChart, a summary of your visit will be sent to your account. Any testing performed will be resulted and shown in your MyChart as well. Many patients and families think of questions for the cardiologist after they have left our center – you are welcome to call us (contact info link) or send a message to your child’s pediatric cardiologist through MyChart.

About the Author

S. Grace Baldwin is a pediatric nurse practitioner in the WVU Medicine Children’s Heart Center.

She is from Morgantown, West Virginia, and has cared for the children of our state as a nurse and nurse practitioner since 2013.

Baldwin has experience taking care of the sickest children in the Pediatric Cardiac Iintensive Care Unit, as well as children in outpatient settings. She is part of the High Risk Interstage Single Ventricle Program and is passionate about building trusting relationships with patients and their families. Baldwin especially loves watching “heart kids” grow up and being a part of their story from the start.

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