Attending health care appointments has an impact financially, on your energy, and on your time. That’s why it is important that you make the most out of your visit.
Here are some things that you can do:
Be prepared for the appointment
Have a list of things you want to address and have some ideas of how you might want them handled, eg. If you have pain, do you want a script for pain medication? Or do you want a diagnosis, or an allied health/ pain specialist referral, or lifestyle interventions? Or all of the above?
Keep a folder of your notes
Keep blood tests, care plans, doctors and your notes, medication scripts and information. Get the doctor to print or write things out for you. Write your own notes while you are in the appointment. Ask your doctor/ health professional if you can take a voice recording – they may say no but be more open to making sure you get all the information written down.
A symptom diary
If you think you will need to prove your pain or symptoms, then it could be a good idea to start a symptom diary. Roughly write your symptomS when you have them and write anything else you feel was relevant. Try to figure the best way to explain your symptoms – where is the pain? what type of pain – stabbing, burning, prolonged, intermittent? Are there things that make it better or worse?
Be prepared for your appointment in other ways
Make sure you are on time so you aren’t rushed, because you want your appointment to be as calm as possible to get the most out of it. Think about transport options. Be prepared to wait at the surgery – have a book or podcast prepared, tissues, a facemask, hand sanitizer, a pillow or blanket if you need it, snacks and water.