Tips for Talking to Your Healthcare Provider
If you are having any symptoms or have any questions, please call 811 to speak with a registered nurse 24 hours a day.
Taking an active role in your health care can help you get the best care possible from your healthcare provider. One way to do this is to improve your relationship with your healthcare provider. The following are some tips to help you and your healthcare provider improve your health care together.
Talk to your healthcare provider
Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about any current and past health care issues or concerns. It’s important to share any information you can, even if you’re embarrassed. Give your healthcare provider the following information during the exam:
- Any symptoms you are having.
- Your health history.
- Personal information, including whether you are stressed or if your life is changing.
- Any medicines you are currently taking. Bring them with you or create a list of all your medicines. Include information about when and how often you take the medicine. You should also write down the strength of the medicine (for example, do you take 150 mg or 200 mg?).
- Any side effects you have from your medicine(s), especially if it makes you feel sick or if you think you may be allergic to it.
- Any vitamins or supplements you take.
Don’t be afraid to speak up. It’s important for you to let your healthcare provider know if you don’t understand something. If you don’t ask questions, your healthcare provider will think you understand everything they have told you. The following are some tips on asking your healthcare provider questions during the exam:
- Ask every time you don’t understand something.
- If you have questions before the appointment, just write them down and ask them during the exam. Be sure to write down the most important questions first to make sure they get answered.
- Tell your healthcare provider when you need more time to talk about something. If the healthcare provider isn’t available to help, you may be able to talk to a nurse or other healthcare professional. If no one else is available, see if you can schedule another appointment to continue your talk.
Take information home with you.
Taking written or recorded information home with you can help you remember information and instructions any time you need to. Your healthcare provider is a good source of accurate information you can trust. The following are types of information you can take home with you:
- Notes that you have taken during the appointment. It’s ok for you to write down the information your healthcare provider gives you. Sometimes it helps to bring a friend or family member with you. They can help write down the answers to your questions.
- Written instructions from your healthcare provider.
- Brochures or other educational materials. If there aren’t any available, ask where you can find some.
Follow up with your healthcare provider
Make sure to follow any instructions your healthcare provider gave you during the appointment, like taking medicine, scheduling a test or scheduling an appointment with a specialist. If you’re confused or if you’ve forgotten some information, it’s ok to contact your healthcare provider. The following are some common reasons you may need to contact your healthcare provider:
- If you start to feel worse or have problems with your medicine.
- If you had tests and haven’t got the results.