The ‘Perfect Patient’… Tip No. 2

Hello again!  On this cold day in New Jersey, I come to you with the second tip!

 (from Resolve’s Family Building Magazine)

The perfect patient asks questions about the treatment regimen, follows instructions carefully and is an active participant in the decision-making process. Questions about a procedure might include: ‘Why does this test need to be timed in this manner? Does this test cause any pain, discomfort or complications? What are the benefits of this treatment over others? If this treatment is not successful, what’s the long-range plan?’

Answers to these questions, or to anything you don’t fully understand, should be very clear before undergoing tests or treatments. This knowledge will make it easier to accurately follow directions and instructions, a crucial aspect of treatment. Take notes or ask for literature on any tests or treatments you are considering. Some patients tape-record important conversations with their doctors, particularly if their partner cannot attend the appointment. Ask about the clinic’s policy on phone calls about lab results, returning phone calls and after-hours emergencies.

You need to become informed about all your treatment options, including their risks, benefits and ‘success’ rates. Your physician can give you information, but don’t expect your physician to make treatment decisions for you.  Ultimately , these important decisions are for you (and your partner) to make.  You can also do research on treatments via the Internet and books and journals, or by talking twith professionals and friends and getting second opinions.

These are all important points to take into consideration.  As a coach my request to you when interacting with your doctor is being open to his information and taking that away with you to then make a response rather than having an instant reaction –  this stuff is always very emotional, so give yourself time to absorb everything,  give yourself the space to let the answers come to you, and have an awareness that your doctor is just a human being and is not a mindreader.     Have a wonderful couple of days until our next tip…    with health, in body mind and spirit, Louise x

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