Getting prepared for the Visit
The first step is to figure out why you are going to the doctor. Is it for an annual "check-up", to get a diagnosis, for a drugs, or to figure out why something isn't going right? perhaps you were referred to a specialist or perhaps you are trying to establish care with a brand spanking new doctor. regardless of the reason, don't walk in to that office unprepared!
What to Bring With You to the Doctor's Office
all of your medications in the bottles. Include over-the-counter medications that you take weekly (or more often).
Old medical records from previous doctors, including things like previous mammograms or EKGs.
A list of what you need to accomplish at the visit.
A list of any questions or concerns you have.
Your immunization record.
A mate, partner, or member of the relatives in the event you anticipate that the visit will bring up complex or difficult issues. somebody else being present can help remind you to ask all the questions you wanted to ask & can help you keep in mind what the doctor said when you get home.
A nice book or your iPod - in case the doctor keeps you waiting!
1. Identify your Agenda
there's nothing doctors dread over to listen to "Oh, incidentally..." from a patient as their hand is on the door handle at the finish of the visit. As you can imagine, when the visit is over & the doctor is already thinking about the next patient, it is not the best time to bring up a serious concern.
Most of the time, the doctor has an idea of what he or he wishes to accomplish in the work of the office visit based on the "reason for visit" noted at the time you make your appointment. So, in the event you have more you need to speak about, make positive that everybody from the receptionist to the nurse to the doctor knows what is on your agenda.
10 Steps to Making the Most Out of Your Doctor's Visit
3. Ask for the Time you Need
Expecting much from the limited amount of time allotted for your office visit is another way to sabotage a successful doctor's appointment. In general, a 15 minute visit is about enough time to address one or at the most seven concerns. Make positive to let the receptionist know everything you need to speak about at the visit. This way, enough time can be scheduled to make positive you get a chance to get to everything on your list.
2. Make a List
Write down the top 3 things you need to speak about and any others (if there's additional time). Make positive to think about the things you need to speak about before you get to the examination room. This way you will have all the information you need at the time of your visit. perhaps you have a query about something you read in the paper - bring the article along. in the event you need to know something specific about your medication - bring the bottle along. You get the idea. it is kind of like going grocery shopping. in the event you don't write down everything you need, you will inevitably forget the milk or eggs.
4. Be Honest
Let's be honest...some of the things you talk about in the doctor's office are downright embarrassing. Sexual dysfunction, hemorrhoids, vaginal discharge, a rash "down there" are all things that can be hard to speak about along with your doctor. However, & let me be clear here, there's nothing they haven't heard as doctors. & I do mean, nothing. So, feel free to spill all the gory details about whatever it is that's concerning you. it is the best & quickest way to get better.
5. Be Patient
it is understandable that after you have suffered with some type of ailment for weeks, months, or even years, you need an answer today. Usually it will take some time for the doctor to make a diagnosis (maybe after getting a lab, xray, or other test) & to formulate a treatment plan. In fact, you may need to be cautious of any doctor who jumps to a diagnosis & treatment before giving your adequate time to share your history, do a cautious examination, & get other needed information. it is also important to give the treatment (whether that's physical therapy or a medication) time to work.
6. Be nice to the Office Staff
I am amazed often times to find out that a patient who was perfectly nice to me was yelling at my receptionist minutes before. Most of the time, the individuals who're working in your doctor's office actually like people & need to help you. They understand that nobody is at their best when they are sick, but the receptionist, nurse, lab people, & administrative staff do need to be treated like you do - politely. In my clinic, I have a low tolerance for any patient yelling at or cussing at my staff. So, in the event you can't be nice, you may be looking for a different doctor.
7. Make positive You Understand
it is hard to keep in mind what the doctor said even 15 minutes after you have left the office. lots of doctors are great at explaining things & writing them down for patients, but lots of doctors go quickly through complex information. This struck me when I had eye surgical procedure. although I am a doctor & should know all this stuff (yeah right!), I used to be given 4 different eye drops to make use of & couldn't keep in mind which one was to make use of "as needed" & which one I used to be supposed to take every day. in the event you need to keep in mind over one thing, it is usually best to write everything down. Ask Me 3 is one approach to making positive patients understand what is going on at a doctor's visit. It recommends that patients ask (and write down the answers to) 3 questions:
what is my main issue?
What do I need to do?
why is it important for me to do this?
8. tell the Doctor about Barriers
This is a super-important, often over-looked part of the visit. in the event you can't read or can't read well (this is actually common), let your doctor know. You may do better by watching a video or getting one-on-one nursing teaching than by reading a leaflet. in the event you can't afford your medication, let your doctor know. what is the point to getting a prescription you can't fill? in the event you are not willing to engage in lifestyle change (losing weight, quitting smoking, etc), let your doctor know. That way he/she can come up with Plan B to get your chronic diseases under better control.
9. Follow Up as Directed
If your doctor asks you to come back in 3 months to get that little spot on your arm checked, make positive to do it. in the event you are not any better after one month on the medication the doctor started, follow up. This is the only way to make positive that you get the care you need, that things don't worsen, & that if the first treatment doesn't work, you move quickly to the next.
10. Be the Coach
you are in charge of your health care team. Make positive that you act as the coach. Get input from & advice from your doctor, but take an active role in managing your health care. This incorporates steps 1-9 listed above. Do not be a passive bench-warmer as your health care is decided for you.