Advice from a retired nurse on what to do at home and in the doctor's waiting room before you go in
...because you only get 10-15 minutes with the doctor in many cases. Preferably do this at home before you leave.
- •Write down your symptoms because it's easy to forget some when they are talking. Try to remember all of them and use brief descriptors. Length of time you have had them helps too.
- •Write down any questions you have. When they answer, write down the answer! Nobody wants to call back for clarification. Make sure they answer every question. You are paying for their time. Yes, you are paying one way or another.
- •Write down everything you think they should do to evaluate you. If they don't do those things, ask why not? If all they do is chat and they don't look at you or touch you or get tests, then they might not believe your symptoms, they don't think you are sick, or maybe you need a new doctor.
- •Don't use the rest room if they might need a urine test from you.
- •Use the hand sanitizer! There are a lot of germs there besides yours. If you might be contagious (or someone else seems so - coughing, sneezing, touching face, nose, mouth, scratching, dirty) wear a mask too.
- •Avoid eating and drinking in such a yucky place. Don't put stuff down on the tables.
- •Write down the names, doses, and frequency of all drugs and supplements you take. You should be able to articulate why you need each one. Then just give them a copy. If you don't know this you should learn it!
- •Your doctor really wants to help you. Help them by being prepared!