7 Ways to Prepare for a Doctor's Trip
When preparing for a trip to the doctor, there may be several reasons you’re going. Whether a scheduled visit or an emergency there are many things you can do to comfortably prepare for both and get the most out of your experience.
Here are 7 ways to prepare:
Do your best to prioritize your medical questions and concerns including any items you may need to bring a long with you. Think about previous trips to the doctor to help you figure out what you need. Bring along any paperwork or notes you may have.
If you're in an emergency, you may not always have time to pack a bag with essentials should you need one. Depending on your household size and how often you need one, pack appropriately.
To avoid stress, pack a bag in your free time and leave it in your car where you can access it easily. As a rule of thumb, have an emergency kit included in your car for any minor emergencies.
2. Make a List
Literally. Write a list of your current questions and concerns, including any prior unanswered questions. It’s also a good idea to include a list of any prescriptions recommended to you or anything else you feel is helpful.
You'll be surprised how helpful it is to organize your thoughts by doing this simple step. Not only will you stay ahead of your thoughts by writing them, you can reduce stress and uncertainty.
If you have any doubt regarding what's going on during your visit, don't be afraid to speak up because unfortunately, there are instances where medical professionals can make mistakes, too.
3. Organize Medical Records
There is a good chance that if you're used to taking doctor's visits that you have many of these down. However, don't take a chance that you will have time later.
It's never a bad thing to keep everything together as much as possible especially if you're a busy person. If you haven't already, organize your medical documents and bring them to your visit in hard copy format.
Ask your medical records provider for access. Print everything including diagnosis, insurance, prescriptions, etc. Include them in a hard-wired binder. Organize tabs by month, year, or condition. It's up to you.
4. Beat the Paperwork
If you know your visit will require an extensive amount of paperwork to fill out, do it beforehand if possible. See if you can call the location you'll be visiting and ask for them to send you the paperwork.
If not, they may have a place online where you can download it and print it out. Your location may also have the option to send it into the receptionist via fax or email.
5. Be Honest
In order to get the best doctors visit with the appropriate recommendations, be honest with your doctor and their supporting staff.
It's easy to be nervous going to the hospital or to see a doctor for any reason, but allowing them to know what you've been feeling will help you. This includes mood, pain, sensations, prescriptions you've been taking as well as over the counter medications.
As much information as you can provide to them the better. After all, they're asking questions to get an understanding of you to diagnose, so be honest with them.
6. Take Notes
Taking detailed notes is a good habit to keep when visiting the doctor. If you don't visit the doctor often, it might be easy for this to slip your mind.
You may find it easier to keep up with the conversation and provide better communication for you. Let's be honest, sometimes the doctors can use medical words we've never heard of.
If they do, ask them to break it down in simpler terms and what it means for you. Although they should, they won't always take the initiative or even patience. As a person, you have a sense of responsibility to yourself to make sure you are taken care of properly.
7. Ask Questions
This cannot be said enough. Ask a question anytime you are confused, and this is important because you want to be treated correctly.
As much as you want to know what it all means, you will find those answers only by asking just in case they don't tell you. Since appointments are limited in time, understand that there may be times the doctor can further follow up with any questions.
Usually, they will recommend a list of specialists in your location if it's necessary. You'll have a second visit or they will inform you where you can find more information about your questions.