Do You Know the “Do’s and Don’ts” of Doctor and Hospital Visits?
Visits to a hospital or doctor’s office bring about mixed emotions for many people. While some look forward to learning the state of their physical health, others experience nervousness about the unknown. One thing that can offset the anxiety you may feel before your next doctor or hospital visit is education. Follow these “do’s and don’ts” before, during and after your next appointment to make the most out of your visit.
- Be prepared: Before your visit, make sure you have your insurance card and confirm that the office or hospital you plan to visit is in-network and accepts your insurance. These are key factors in determining how much you’re responsible for paying after the visit. If you’re a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan member, you can access this information through BCBSM.com or the BCBSM mobile app.
- Know your history: Write down a quick summary of your medical history including your family’s health history, names and dosage information of medications you’re currently taking, immunization record, previous test results and any allergies you have. You want to be able to answer your doctor’s questions during the visit and having this information handy will help.
- Get support: If you’re really nervous or worried, have a friend or family member accompany you. They can help you keep note of the information you receive and ask questions you may not have thought about.
- Self-diagnose: While it’s important to be educated about your health, don’t diagnose yourself based on what you found online. Symptoms can often mean many different things and not all information is created equal. Consult with your primary care physician regarding any medical questions or concerns.
- Neglect to mention the details: Remember that unsettling cough you had a few weeks back? What about the surgery you had as a child to heal your broken arm? No matter how major or minor it seems, it is essential to share all of the details of your medical history with your doctor because it can affect your diagnosis.
- Leave with unanswered questions: Hospital and doctor visits are not the time for you to stay quiet. It’s important to engage and ask questions. If you’re worried you’ll forget something, write down questions before your appointment. In addition, have your physician clarify anything you’re unsure about during your visit—there are no stupid questions in a doctor’s office.
For more information on how to maximize your next medical visit, see the following blogs:
- 3 Conversations You Should Have With Your Doctor
- Are You Making the Most of Your Health Care?
- You Have a New Plan, Now What?
Photo Credit: Army Medicine