You get ready for a date. You prepare for tasks and meetings at work. How do you prepare for visits to your health care provider?
The first step is to find a health care provider you feel comfortable with. If you can share how you feel, both physically and emotionally, then you and your health care provider can work together as partners in your health care.
A basic plan for your visit can help. Before you arrive, make a list of things you want to talk about. Put your questions in order, so you are sure to ask about the most important ones first.
During your visit, explain your symptoms: what is bothering you, when it started, and if you have noticed any pattern. Ask for clear explanations about your condition, any medication or treatment, and instructions on how to recover after an illness, injury, or hospital procedure.
Consider bringing a family member or friend. Let them know in advance what you want from your visit. With good communication, you and your health care provider can team up to make sure you get the best health care possible.