Talking to your Doctor

We asked on our Hydrocephalus Facebook community page: “Do you prepare a list of questions to ask your or your child’s doctor before the appointment?”

We were so pleased to see the majority of our community members answered “yes” to last week’s Facebook poll question, as it is very critical to be prepared before a meeting with any healthcare professional.

facebook poll results

Remember as you work with your or your loved one’s healthcare team you are in a partnership.

It is important to be an active participant in the decision making process about the necessary care for you or your loved one. Going to a doctor’s visit could make someone nervous, impatient and even scared, so preparing for the visit will help you get the information you need and facilitate the communication between you and healthcare provider. The following are some tips we believe will help solidify your partnership with the healthcare team and help you make better and educated decisions about you, or your loved one’s care.

  • Be organized. Come to the doctor’s office prepared with information about your symptoms
  • Prepare a list of your questions about your symptoms, medications you are taking
  • Consider taking a family member or a trusted friend, ask them to write things down for you and remind you about questions you shared and you wanted to ask the doctor
  • Don’t be rushed. Ask plenty of questions and feel confident that you understand the answers.
  • Demonstrate your knowledge and flexibility by actively participating in the decision-making, planning and evaluation processes. Avoid aggression and conflict by assuming responsibility and taking every opportunity to be assertive.
  • There is no need to feel intimidated. To achieve their objectives professionals need your help just as much as you need theirs. Be assertive- mutual respect is a great basis for a relationship!
  • Make sure you understand the role of each member of the treatment team
  • If you think a second opinion would help, never hesitate to ask for one

For more in depth tips on 1) how to partner with your healthcare provider and be assertive, 2) how to select a doctor visit these following links:

  1. Information Sheet: How to Be an Assertive Member of the Treatment Team. Hydrocephalus Association
  2. Talking With Your Doctor: A Guide for Older People. National Institute on aging.
  3. MedlinePlus, Talking with your doctor,
  4. Quick Tips—When Talking with Your Doctor AHRQ Publication No. 01-0040a, May 2002. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
  5. Fact Sheet: Second Opinions. Hydrocephalus Association

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