How can we reduce nervousness and anxiety around Doctor’s visits?

With just a little bit of planning your visit, you can keep both your child (and you) occupied and you can create a learning experience. Use the waiting time to reinforce the lessons we teach at The Village and Rutledge Institute and have some fun together.  The information below (Provided by PA Keys) provides some useful ideas for the 4 primary early learning age groups and a list of 10 books on the subject of going to the doctor’s office.


While waiting in the exam room you most likely will have to undress your baby. As you do, touch each part of your baby’s body and name each part as you go. Make eye contact and smile as you touch and name each body part. Tell them what the body part does. “Your arms reach wide to give a hug.”


Create a Special Event bag your toddler can take when visiting places like the doctor’s office. It can be a simple backpack, cloth bag, or even a zip-top plastic bag. Put in items such as a pad of paper, crayons, stickers, small toys or cars, View-Master, lacing games, playing cards or other special items to be used when visiting.*


While waiting in the examining room, have your preschooler close their eyes and listen. What do they hear? (Closing of a door, someone walking down the hall, the air conditioning/heating vent, a phone ringing, baby crying, etc.) Talk about what is heard. Where might someone be going? Who might be calling? Encourage your child to use their imagination–might it be an elephant on the phone, or a tiger creeping down the hall?


Explain to your kindergartner that a people doctor is a physician, while an animal doctor is a veterinarian. Provide names of people they know, and see if they can guess which doctor (physician or veterinarian) the person would see, and mix in animals, too. “Would Uncle Jack go to a physician or a veterinarian if he was sick?” or “Would a cat go to a physician or a veterinarian if it was sick?” Let them quiz you, too.

10 Books About Going to the Doctor’s Office

  • Never Take a Shark to the Dentist by Judi Barrett 
  • Going to the Doctor by Anne Civardi
  • Miss Dose the Doctor’s Daughter by Allan Ahlberg 
  • Calling Doctor Amelia Bedelia by Herman Parish 
  • Daisy the Doctor by Felicity Brooks
  • Do I Have to Go to the Hospital? by Pat Thomas 
  • A Day with a Doctor by Jan Kottke
  • Franklin Goes to the Hospital by Paulette Bourgeois 
  • My Friend the Doctor by Joanna Cole
  • The Berenstain Bears Go to the Doctor by Stan &Jan Berenstain

Your child’s teacher and facility director can offer specific ideas for your child.  We can tell you about your child’s current lesson topics and the school activities that are drawing their attention.  Combining your ideas with ours can make that doctor’s visit productive and fun by reducing the waiting time anxiety.    

The Village and The Rutledge also help families by providing routine medical care to our students through programs like the Care Mobile. Seeing medical care in a familiar environment is also a great way to ease nerves and anxiety. 


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