Going to see your general practitioner is a necessary appointment you need to make each year. It can also be a difficult endeavour if you are not prepared or do not understand what is happening. Here are some important things you need to be aware of before seeking medical care.
Understand How Testing Works
During a visit with your general practitioner, if you are referred to further testing, it is critical that you understand how the testing works. This will help you to properly prepare for the tests and better comprehend the results when they are available.
When you are referred for specific tests requiring in vitro diagnostic medical services these tests fall under the regulatory oversight of IVDR or In Vitro Diagnostic Regulation. Knowing what this means can help you better receive any relevant findings pertaining to your care. For this or any other test, always inquire as to why the test is being done and what the possible outcomes can mean for you.
Make a List
Being at a general practitioner or other provider’s office can make you nervous. To combat this feeling of unease and the possibility of forgetting important items, try making a list to bring with you. A good idea is to open the notes or reminder section on your phone and keep a running list there. Some talking points to include may be:
- Continuing current medications (bring a list, include vitamins)
- Medication interactions
- Aches or pains
- Body changes
- Items of concern
- Age-related testing
Know Your Rights
Understanding your rights as a patient means taking an active role in your medical care. Fully read through the entirety of the NHS Constitution before your appointment, if possible. If there are any areas you find unclear, do not hesitate to seek clarification. Having these rights entitles you to exercise them as needed and as appropriate.
You Deserve To Be Heard
Sometimes, you may go to a medical appointment and find yourself being rushed along. Perhaps the general practitioner or specialist looks to be in a hurry. Those experiences can leave you feeling less than important.
Should you have an encounter like this, do not hesitate to speak up for yourself. Clearly state your concerns about being pushed through the system and respectfully ask for your GP’s undivided attention. If you are prepared with questions, you can help move the appointment along while being attended to.
Find an Advocate
Oftentimes medical visits are so hectic that you may miss out on essential information. Make the process easier by bringing a trusted friend or family member with you. They can take notes and help you remember important details such as home care guidance or in making follow-up appointments.
Your advocate may also serve as your Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney or LPA.
Here is a video explaining the two different types of Lasting Powers of Attorney and why you need them.
By taking proactive steps regarding your medical care you will be better prepared for whatever lies ahead. Do your due diligence, ask questions, seek medical care and help when you need it, enlist an advocate, and prioritize your well-being for a happy and healthy future.