Being sick and going to the hospital is something that comes with a lot of anxiety for most people especially if you don’t know what to do and what to expect. For the expectations, well you can’t do much about it except hope for the best outcome, but what you can do something about is your preparation before you go.
Here are 8 things to get you ready for your next hospital visit or doctor’s appointment.
- Your Health insurance card: Never go to the hospital without your Health insurance card. Going to the hospital without an insurance card means you get to pay cash for everything. From the hospital card to medications prescribed by your doctor. Healthcare is expensive and your health insurance card is there to ease up the cost so use it.
- Your medical record card : For people visiting the hospital for the first time, you do not need to worry about this card because you haven’t received it yet. But if you have been to the particular hospital before, then carrying your medical record card with you is is a must. This is usually a small card that has your name and the card number on it for to make it easy to retrieve your folder when next you visit.
- All your medications: Every medication you are currently taking should be with you when going to see a doctor. This includes the prescribed and the over the counter drugs. Bringing your medications with you not only helps the doctor to better understand your treatment, but helps him know which drugs to continue, discontinue and which drugs to add to your treatment.
- Medical test results: Every test result you have should be taken along when going to the hospital. Both old and new test results should be carried along. This is because the doctor you see might not be the one you saw on your previous visit and you would not want him/her to not have all the information on your condition in case the previous doctor failed to put the results down in your folder. Secondly having your tests results will enable continuity of care and avoid repetition of tests.
- List of your Symptoms: If you are experiencing or have experienced some symptoms, it is best to note them down and bring it along to your visit. Writing your symptoms as you experience them helps you to not forget any. Your symptoms might be a reaction to a drug or treatment, or another symptom of a medical condition. you don’t want to forget this.
- A family member or a friend: The hospital can be an unpredictable place to visit when sick. You never know what the headache you are having really is and whether the stomach ache is only because you skipped breakfast. Bringing along someone can be very helpful especially when you have to be admitted or you need other help. You don’t want to be alone in these times, having good company can take away a load of anxiety which is something your doctor will be happy about.
- Your list of Questions: You have questions? Now’s the time to ask them. Asking questions about your condition, management and treatment is something every good doctor welcomes from his/her patient. Take notes of all the questions you would like answers to and bring to your next appointment. Get the answers you need from the right person, your doctor.
- Bring some money! Last but certainly not the least, you should always carry money with you when going to the hospital. Some people make the mistake of carrying only their insurance card thinking that it will be enough but they most often get disappointed and frustrated. Carry money with you so you don’t have to go back home if the test you need to do is not covered by the insurance or the medication you are prescribed is non-insured.
Follow these simple tips and you will not only be your doctor’s favourite patient but a satisfied one at that.