How to Make the Most Out of Every Patient Visit

February 12, 2013 Providence Health Team

Here are our top six ways that patients can make the most of their visit.

  1. Bring a list of your medications.
  2. Write your questions down. We find that it’s helpful for our patients and their support partners to keep a journal beginning the day they leave their last visit to the day of your next one.
  3. Bring a support partner. It’s not only helpful to have a second set of ears listening to your care team’s instructions; it’s also beneficial to have a second person’s questions while the doctor is present.
  4. Let us know if you’ve been to another doctor, or had tests done somewhere else. This information helps us to ensure the treatment plan we are creating for you is the most appropriate and complete.
  5. Be a good patient. This means, don’t be afraid to give us the full picture.
    - Tell your doctor everything you tell your nurse. Often patients will share openly with their care team up until the point they see their doctor. Not wanting to look like they are “complaining to their doctor” they stop sharing and simply answer the doctor’s questions, painting an incomplete picture of their treatment.
    - Don’t ignore your side-effects! Every day we make more progress managing the side-effects that cancer treatment often brings … but we can’t address them if you don’t tell us about them. See “Cancer and pain: It’s okay to ask for help.
  6. Be yourself. We think our patients and those who support them are some of the bravest people we know … but we also know that you are feeling scared, confused, frustrated … the list goes on. When you come to see us don’t be afraid to tell us how you really feel. We’re here to help.

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