Having effective communication with your healthcare provider is essential to receiving the care you need and want. Communication can be a barrier if not properly utilized between you and your provider. Communicating accurate information about yourself is also crucial to your provider assessing your symptoms and prescribing the best course of treatment for you. No one wants to be given the wrong course of action when it comes to their health. You cannot control how someone else communicates, but as a patient you can make sure your communication is successful. Here are a few tips to consider for improving communication with your healthcare provider:
- Build rapport with your provider. This can take time but is necessary for you to both get to know one another. Having good communication can help build rapport and strengthen the relationship that is already there.
- Provide accurate information. Keep notes on your concerns including descriptions and when they occur. Bring your notes with you to your appointment.
- Take notes. During your appointment jot down notes and things you will need to remember. When necessary, ask for a written copy of any new instructions about your health, including medications, exercise, diet etc.
- Ask questions on anything you do not understand. Your healthcare provider may assume you understand all that they are talking to you about, unless you ask questions. Do not be afraid to ask for something to be repeated as well.
- Consider bringing a spouse or someone you trust with you to your appointment. Often, having someone else with you, can help you remember more of the information needed.