Let’s make the doctor’s visit a lot smoother!
Don’t we all hate the long lines at the doctor’s place for a quick appointment? Handle your visits to a doctor like a pro, and they’ll seem less like nightmares and more like what they are: important, necessary and relatively painless health analysis.
Here are some quick tips to make the process faster and more efficient:
Snag a spot on the waiting list:
Consider taking a far off appointment; however ask the receptionist to give you a call if there are any cancellations before your appointment and follow up with them. It’s sometimes very hard to get an appointment as you please but it’s worth a try. Also, if your doctor refers you to a specialist, ask if he can call and make the appointment. If the doctor’s office calls, you’re going to get in a whole lot sooner.
Picking the right day and time
The trick is to pick a time slot when there is going to be minimum traffic at the clinic – try and take the first appointment of the day if it suits you, as the doctor won’t be backed up then. Try to avoid the weekends, Mondays and Fridays, as these tend to be the busiest..
Doing your homework
Doctors are busy – make things simple for them and for you – write down all your questions ahead of time. There are plenty of distractions that may arise during your appointment, so you may forget questions you don’t jot down. Write questions concerning your current issue as well as those you anticipate having after the exam about, say, a prescribed medicine.
Also take notes before your appointment. Make a very specific list about your symptoms, when they started to appear, how they’ve changed and possible triggers.
Being a squeaky wheel in the waiting room
As you sign in, ask if the doctor is running behind and how long you’ll likely wait. If the receptionist doesn’t know, ask him to check. Asking the question is sensitizing the office staff to the idea that your time is valuable. If you find the doctor is very behind, ask to reschedule the appointment. Say the staff member says your wait will be 30 minutes. If it has been 32 minutes, start (gently) squeaking. Check in and ask again how much longer he expects you to wait. You’re not being overbearing or pushy; you’re asking a question. It should help speed things along a little bit. Not always, but it’s worth a try.
Repeat after the doctor
If the doctor speaks above your head in medical jargon, don’t just nod along with glazed eyes. This is your health—it’s important to understand your diagnosis and treatment options, especially if you’ve waited a while to get an appointment and be seen. Repeating to the doctor what he or she has said so you’re both on the same page is a good idea. A patient can ask something like: “Can I try this in my own words so I make sure I understand?”
Learn how to reconnect after the appointment
Near the end of the appointment, ask the doctor about the best way to reach them – the doctor may have certain hours they take calls, knowing these communication preferences in advance will make it easier to follow up with important questions and possibly prevent a frustrating game of phone tag.
Follow these simple tips for a smooth experience at your next doctor’s appointment!
Image Courstey : www.ronankavanagh.ie ; www.telegraph.co.uk