Understanding Your Medical Condition

Part of becoming more responsible for your healthcare is learning about your medical condition. This means knowing:

  • The name of your medical condition
  • How and when it was diagnosed
  • What causes it
  • How it is treated
  • What signs and symptoms indicate you should see a doctor
  • Long term effects of your medical condition

Understanding your medical condition will help you stay as healthy as possible. It will also allow you to be more involved in decisions about your healthcare.

To learn more:

  • Have a parent, caregiver or healthcare provider explain your medical condition to you using words you'll understand.
  • Ask lots of questions when you attend your clinic appointments. It helps to write your questions down ahead of time.
  • Go to reliable sources for information, like TeensHealth or MyHealth Alberta.
  • Contact the Alberta Children's Hospital Child Health Information Specialist by calling 403-955-7745 or emailing childhealthinfo@ahs.ca.
  • Visit MyHealth Passport to create a personal, wallet-sized health information card.

In Case of Emergency (ICE):

To ensure healthcare providers and first responders have access to important information about your health in an emergency situation:

  • Use a Medical Identification tool (i.e. medic alert, necklace, bracelet or tattoo).
  • Alternatively, ask your pharmacist for a list of your prescriptions, write the name of your medical condition on it, and always carry it with you.
  • Use a reputable In Case of Emergency (ICE) app on your phone.

Take this Health Quiz to see what you already know about your medical condition, and what you still need to learn.