Stages to Transition

As a teen patient, you should learn as much as you can about your condition and your healthcare needs. You should do as much as you can to manage your healthcare needs on your own and actively participate in your medical care. The doctors and nurses who provide your care will partner with you in this process.

Read on for an overview of the transition process, or jump ahead to age-specific checklists.

Key areas you should be able to successfully manage prior to transition

You Should Know:

  • Your medical condition(s)
  • Your medications including names, purpose, dosage, potential side effects and interactions
  • How to manage and prepare your own medications
  • Your tests and what the results mean for your ongoing care

Develop Independence and Assertiveness

  • Take personal responsibility for knowing your medication schedule and adhering to it
  • Take responsibility for making your own appointments with the healthcare provider
  • Self report your history to the healthcare provider rather than relying on parents or caregivers. You can use the forms on this page to gather your medical history
  • Plan for the future (school, work, etc.)

Health and Lifestyle

  • Know the effects of drugs, alcohol and smoking
  • Know the consequences of not following your medication regimen
  • Know the concepts of a proper diet and exercise regimen
  • Understand the impact of your healthcare on sexual function and fertility

Are You Ready to Transition?

  • Do you take responsibility for your own care most of the time?
  • When you give the team your health history, does it sound the same as what
    your parents tell the team?
  • Do you take your medications without your parents reminding you?
  • Can you tell the team when you are not feeling well or if you have any concerns?
  • Do you speak directly with your medical team?
  • Do you know when you need refills for your medication? Do you call the pharmacy?
  • Do you have a plan for your future, such as college or work?
  • Have you met the goals in each checklist?

Age-Specific Checklists

If you were diagnosed as a teenager, start at the beginning of the transition stages and work your way up to your current age group.

You can print individual checklists for each age group, or print the full checklist that shows all the milestones for the entire transition process (PDF).

Find your age group:

Ages 12–14 (Early Adolescence)

checked box icon I can describe my health condition

checked box icon I can name my medications, the amount and times that I take them

checked box icon I can describe the common side effects of my medications

checked box icon I know my doctors’ and coordinators’ names and roles

checked box icon I can use and read a thermometer

checked box icon I can answer at least one question during my healthcare visit

checked box icon I can call my doctor’s office to make or change an appointment

checked box icon I can describe how my health condition affects me on a daily basis

Print this checklist (PDF)

Ages 15 – 16 (Mid Adolescence)

checked box icon I speak up in my doctor visits: I ask questions and am involved in making decisions about my healthcare

checked box icon I know the names and purposes of the tests that are done

checked box icon I know my medical/surgical history

Print this checklist (PDF)

Age 17 (Late Adolescence)

checked box icon I understand that I must check with my doctors before I take any medications, prescribed or over-the-counter, as they might interact with the medication(s) that I am taking for PH

checked box icon I am alone with the healthcare provider or choose who is with me during a healthcare visit

checked box icon I can tell someone my legal rights and responsibilities that I gain when I turn 18

checked box icon I manage all my medical tasks outside the home (school, work)

checked box icon I know how to get more information about my health

checked box icon I can book my own appointments, refill prescriptions, and contact my medical team

checked box icon I can tell someone how long I can be covered under my parents’ health insurance plan and what I need to do to maintain coverage for the next two years

checked box icon I carry my insurance information (card) with me in my wallet/purse/backpack

checked box icon I continue to list medications and doses (bring your own medication list to clinic)

checked box icon I have a good understanding of issues surrounding sexuality and reproductive issues.

checked box icon If you are staying at home after high school, begin looking into local adult PH care teams you may want to work with. If planning to go to college or move away from home, look into PH care teams near the schools your are considering. Use our Find a Doctor Directory or ask for a recommendation from your current PH team.

Print this checklist (PDF)

Ages 18 – 21 (Young Adult)

checked box icon Independent clinic visits

checked box icon Independent with medications

checked box icon Continue to make healthy and common-sense choices about friends, drinking, and smoking

checked box icon Independently monitor medications and supplies

checked box icon Call pharmacy when refills are needed

checked box icon Secured financial coverage or insurance

Print this checklist (PDF)