Practically no one looks forward to visits to the doctor’s office or taking medical tests. However these visits can be much more productive if one is better prepared. Simple tactics like going in armed with a pen and pad to take notes and even better, having questions written down to ask the provider, can make a world of difference with each visit.
With today’s technology and the general fast-paced mode of our society, it may not be easy to gain willing cooperation from the providers. Never the less, the end results of this footwork will prove to be worth it in the long run. This can be a win-win situation for each party, the patient and the physician.
The patient walks away armed with memorable information to process and compare with others that are important enough to seek advice. The physician actually will win in the long run when questions aren’t repeated and the patient has processed the initial information and had time to get input or second opinions from others.
When there is testing involved, not only is it best to check with the nursing staff about any pre-preparation necessary—it is best to follow those orders. For example, nothing by mouth after midnight (NPO) means no sneaking in that last sip at 12:15 am or worse: solid foods.
Doing otherwise may cause life-threatening complications such as involuntary choking while under sedation or worse. ‘After-procedure, follow up orders’ carry the same advisory weight. If the patient is unable to follow the aforementioned or other instructions, what’s the point in going in the first place?
Worthwhile preparation advice extends to pharmacy case as well. Take as directed; take on an empty stomach or take with milk or food. These are just a few directions a patient may be given. Generally, senior citizens are instructed to obtain medicine dividers, which help them sort out daily or weekly dosages. This is advice that can be utilized by all ages. In the long run it can provide invaluable assistance with helping the patient keep it together and straightened out.
Keeping a separate calendar for 1) physician, 2) pharmacy refills and 3) upcoming tests can be a godsend too. None of this is intended as ‘scare tactics.’ It’s just realistic, sound advice shared for the success of all involved. Hopefully this advice will help to take the fear out and help to simplify matters.