Talking to medical professionals

As a young carer, you'll often have to deal with doctors and nurses. They may not always understand that you play an important part in caring for your relative. Here are some ideas from other young carers to help you feel more confident, and get better outcomes.

1. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself

I’ve learned to be confident in what I have to say. I just told the doctor, “Look, I’m her carer. I live with her at home, and this isn’t working”.’ - Meg

2. Try to stay calm

Try dialling down the emotions. Find a non-confrontational way to educate the doctors and nurses that doesn't get them on the wrong foot. Often half the battle is just showing that you're a mature person who can handle this, and not some whiney brat. They'll often take you more seriously if you don't come across as angry or shouting.’ - Duc

3. Find an advocate or ally

Can you find someone to help talk to the doctors for you? That could be hard if it's an emergency. But if you know there's an appointment coming up, can you find someone to go with you?’ - Kat 

4. Practice critical conversations

You can be less emotional if you practice a conversation you know is coming up. So if there's a problem with appointments, you can say, “Well, actually, I am the one that Dad depends on to make those appointments. This is the reason why, this is how I do it and that is why it’s important to include me in this conversation”.’ - David

Useful resources

You can also show this resource to the doctor or nurse, which will give them some tips on how to work with young carers.