Transition is a process that involves thinking about, planning for and making the move from children to adult health care services.
In health care, the term 'transition' is the word used to describe the process of transferring from child to adult health care services. Transition is not a single event. It should be seen as a gradual process of thinking, planning and preparing, which ensures that you and your parents are ready for the eventual move.
Part of growing up with cystic fibrosis is the transition from paediatric care to an adult cystic fibrosis service. For some people this will mean changing teams within the same hospital and for others it will involve moving to an entirely new hospital. There is no single transition process for people with CF in Ireland - some hospital manage the process differently than others - but hopefully the information below will help prepare you for thinking about, planning and making the move.
What will transition involve?
Transition means that you will be preparing to be looked after by a team who specialise in caring for adults with CF. Part of this preparation will include you becoming more involved in managing your health care and achieving more independence. You will need to find out all about your medical history and your condition. You will become more involved in looking after your medications, treatments, tests and procedures. Knowing how to keep well and manage your condition through attendance at clinic appointments, a good diet, exercise routines and other lifestyle choices is also part of the transition process.
What challenges could I expect during the transition process?
It is normal for any process involving change to have some minor challenges and transition is no different. The main challenges are:
- Moving from a setting that you are very familiar and comfortable with to a new setting that you know very little about
- Getting to know people in the new healthcare team and their roles
- Being more independent and learning to manage your condition
- Starting to make decisions about your health care and your treatment
Getting ready for transition
Talk to your team and log on to SteppingUP, which had lots of reading material and tips to perpare you for the move. You can also watch video clips of other people with CF who have gone through the transition process.
In this way, you will gain more information and confidence that will support you through the process. The important thing is that you will see that you are not alone. Your parent(s)/guardian(s) and health care team are there to support you and help you to manage the move to adult services.
Links: Stepping Up