Call Us Today!
Dark Light

Elderly woman with health problems listening doctor explanation

Communicating with doctors and nurses may be new for you. Here are some tips:

  • Be sure the doctor understands your role. If the care recipient one is not able (or willing) to take instruction, make sure that the doctor tells you all the vital information.
  • Explain the practical side of your situation. This can help the professionals adjust and make practical suggestions in return. For example, you might say to the doctor, “It’s better for my job if we can meet early in the morning.” The doctor might reply, “Not a problem. I’ll let my assistant know to schedule us for the first available appointment each time we meet.”
  • Educate yourself about the care recipient’s condition. Use the Internet as a tool, but stick with reliable sources of information. Pose specific questions to your health care professional if you don’t understand something about the recipient condition. It’s especially important to know what would represent an emergency situation.
  • Keep records of habits. Take note of  sleeping, eating and medication habits, as well as any emotional episodes. The more detailed information you can offer about symptoms and habits, the easier it will be for the doctor to offer the best treatment course.
  • Take time to make decisions about care. If a situation isn’t life-threatening, take the time you need to make a decision. Your health care professional will understand if you request time to discuss the matter with the care recipient and other family members.
  • Appoint one family member as the main contact. It will help everyone involved if there is a specific primary point of contact for the health care team. This will avoid confusion and save time for the doctors and nurses. The appointed person can communicate all information and necessary decisions to be made with the rest of the family.
  • Hold conversations in appropriate places. You deserve the doctor’s full attention. For important conversations, seek out a private conference room or office, not a waiting room or corridor.
  • Ask about other resources. The health care staff can be invaluable. They can point you toward support groups and even suggest resources that can aid in paying for medications. They can also share in-home care options with you.
  • Write it down. Have everything that’s on your mind written down before you speak with the health care team. This can help you guard against forgetting something important.
  • Feel free to change. Sometimes, a health care professional turns out be a less than perfect fit — either professionally or emotionally. If that’s the case, ask to see someone else in the practice or seek out another place of care.
  • Be appreciative. Don’t forget to thank the health care team for all that they do. A little kindness and recognition goes a long way.