I can still hear those precise words: “Ms. Culp, the Doctor will see you now.” or “Ms.Culp, you can come on back now.” It doesn’t matter what type of Doctor, specialist or testing taking place during these visits, the key is to be well prepared for them. It is not as hard as one would think, and believe me the patient has more power and control of these visits than they think.
Being a frequent visitor of the medical community I am more than happy to share a few suggestions and tips that may make your next visit more productive and better for everyone overall. I always pray for a productive& positive visit and that both, the medical provider(s) and I, can keep any negative, forceful or non-productive comments and feelings turned off. This helps to keep diversions down; that alone will go a long way.
Enter into each appointment with the mindset that ”you are, the patient in control” and that you have a vested interest in the visit and the outcome too. Begin with a small tablet which can be found at the Dollar store or in Walmart’s school supply section. A good ink pen and a back up, in case the first one runs out on you. A simple number two pencil works well too. Before the day arrives, sit down and think of what you’d like to accomplish with this doctor or specialist. In short a list of what you wish to discuss, concerns and questions that involve your physical and mental health.
Don’t be afraid to do this, most practitioner’s will be impressed by your organizational skills and see it as you found great way to prepare and utilize the time. Face it, “time is money and no one wants to waste either.” In some cases the opposite may occur. There may be the slight chance the practitioner is apprehensive or irritated by your staunch decision making, your literary approach, etc. Whatever the case, stand firm and stick to your purpose anyway. Remember, the goal here is to get the best, from the health practitioner. In the last year I’ve had 3 necessary surgical procedures at the New Hanover Regional Hospital .
I certainly praise God that they all went well and each recovery was a success. Each of the 3 surgical procedures included a pre-operation (pre-op) that featured a list of questions. From the Surgeon’s who performed my procedures and medical staff at their office and the hospital’s Medical Mall. This was not one sided, they had their required questions and I had my own. Never meaning to be combative or difficult, just doing the best I can to understand what was to take place , how and why on “my body!”
We as patients have rights: legal and moral and I cannot stress enough to anyone that is able to Google HIPPA Rights, read and learn them. When it comes to the ability to pay, for our office visits, pharmacy and durable medial equipment that can include anything from a simple Walking Cane to an actual Hospital Bed. In closing, we as patients have a right to receive and review each line item for every pill, suave and medical equipment. Keep them all file them away with the *HIPPA Rights information. The last surgical procedure was for my Back. When the Anethesiologist came in to consult with me about the medicines, prior procedures, etc. He asked me did I have any questions and I said “yes sir just one.”
“Are you a God fearing man sir, do you believe in God?” He gave me a kind of inquisitive and dazed look and said yes ma’am I do. Hoping to ease his curiosity to what may have been a strange reply to his initial question. “ Doctor, besides the Surgeon who will be doing my surgical procedure, you will be holding my life in your hands… and I would like to know if this very important person believes in God.”
Speaking of the big guy himself-“God” he is one cool, accountable dude! Always there and right on time.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules**http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy