Whether you’re scheduled to meet with your doctor, a physician’s assistant, nurse or physical therapist, here are five tips gleaned from a National Institute on Aging’s infographic.
1. Do some necessary preparation work before your appointment. Be ready to ask questions you’ve been wanting to ask or something you may have read about or heard on the news that may pertain to your situation. Jot them down and take them with you. List your symptoms, health habits or any recent life changes.
2. I’ve been guilty of this myself but don’t be afraid to ask your doctor or other health professional to repeat or clarify information or recommendations. Also do not be afraid to take notes, either old school pen-to-paper notes or using your mobile device.
3. Do try to make joint decisions that meet your needs or make more sense to you. Doctors don’t know everything and you may have been guilty of not sharing needed information. Discuss the risks, benefits and the costs of any recommended tests or treatments if that is an issue for you.
4. Make certain you fully understand the message, instruction or any recommendations. If there are language issues or you have trouble hearing, ask the doctor to face you when talking and to speaker louder or more slowly.
5. And lastly, tell your doctor or health provider if you feel rushed, worried or uncomfortable. You can always ask for a follow-up visit or a follow-up email or phone call.
Implement these simple suggestions and you’re sure to get more out of your medical appointments.