How many times have you visited the hospital because of some symptoms you have; you get through the basics to meet the doctor and then in no time, the doctor decodes your troubling symptoms, writes some stuff in your folder, calls the nurse and says you can go, without even explaining to you what your diagnosis is?
Many patients report of dissatisfaction with their hospital visits to see the doctor. There may be several contributing reasons why patients find themselves in such situations. However, the inability of patients to ask questions has proven to be the major ‘’why?’’
Some patients may even go into surgery without much knowledge of the procedure they are up for. Yes, such things happen and it is mostly because patients don’t know how to ask their doctors the right questions.
Questions Patients Should Always Ask Their Doctor
One of the best relationship you can have is the one with your doctor. It comes with medical, physical, emotional and psychological satisfaction. But just like any other type of relationship, it requires effective communication to strengthen it.
On average, people visit the hospital twice a year, and 1 in 10 leaves the hospital unsatisfied. Therefore, your ability to ask your doctor the right questions will go a long way to improve communication between the both of you about your health.
Asking questions is key to good communication. When you don’t ask questions, you send a different message entirely, especially to your doctor.
He may feel you already know all the answers, and conclude there’s no point raising some certain topics about your diagnosis. Your doctor may also take it that you are not just interested in getting more information about your health.
Here are 7 important questions to ask your doctor that can improve a healthy and satisfying communication between you and your doctor. Memorizing the following questions or writing them down while in the waiting room could be crucial when you are eventually called up.
What is Your Name?
Try to get to know your doctor by name and not by his appearance, height, the color of shirt he wore, or the consulting room he was in the day you visited.
Not every doctor wear a name tag or has his or her name written on the door of the consulting room. This means you must have to ask to get to know his or her name.
Your doctor is not a monster, so he or she will reply you when you ask them for their name. So politely ask him or her for his/her name. Knowing the doctor’s name is a solid foundation for more effective communication between you and him concerning your health.
How is Your Day Going?
Don’t be a boring patient who just walks in the consulting room and sits to answer yes or no to whatever the doctor says.
Ask about your doctor’s day, and how he or she is doing. It creates an interactive environment and brings about calmness between you and your doctor. Your doctor will be happy to answer you.
Sometimes, doctors can be so stressed up and this question can help them feel more at ease with you and they will serve you even better.
Why Am I Having These Symptoms?
This is perhaps the most important question of all. Asking this question could open your mind to past events you may not have remembered which might be relevant to your diagnosis.
So don’t only tell your doctor about your symptoms, find out from him why he thinks you are having those symptoms. Your doctor will be happy to satisfy your curiosity and explain better to you the diagnosis he has come up with.
His explanation may draw your attention to things you are ignorant of and even how to become more careful about your daily activities or lifestyle choices affecting your health.
What Medicines Are You Giving Me?
Usually, the doctor will inform you on the medication he has prescribed for you and even ask you about the drugs you are currently on, have previously taken or are allergic to. But it is always nice to inquire more about your drugs from your doctor, especially about their possible side effects.
Not all medical conditions require pharmacological intervention. When they do, it is important that you know the types and names of drugs your doctor prescribes for you. It will help you and your doctor identify medications you are allergic to or have previously taken if not already recorded.
How Am I Supposed To Take The Drugs?
Never leave your doctor’s office without asking how you are supposed to take prescribed medications. Some doctors write in ways many people can’t read, so asking about your prescription dosage could help clarify many things for you.
Further more, some drugs may not be available at the hospital drug store and you will need to go out to buy at other pharmaceutical shops outside. Asking your doctor about how you are to take your prescribed drugs will prevent any mistakes when you go to buy the drugs.
What Should I Do When I Finish My Drugs?
‘’Good evening Dr. Sam, daddy just finished taking the drugs you gave him. He is asking if he should get another because he’s still having headaches?’’ That’s me, talking to my dad’s doctor.
Always ask your doctor if there’s another finish line or just the prescribed medication. Maybe he would want you to get extra pain medicines, or go for scans or change your diet. If it is a drug for a chronic disease that requires refill, your doctor might want you to come back for review before asking you to go and buy the same drugs, or he may change the drugs for you.
So be sure to find out from the doctor what he wants you to do when you complete your medications.
Do I Need To Come Back For Check Up?
Certain conditions and injuries like fractures, ulcers, hypertension, diabetes, cancers etc. requires routine checks. So, it is important to know from your doctor regardless of your diagnosis whether or not he expects you to return so he can monitor your progress in the hospital.
This will give you enough time to take notes of any arising symptom prior to your next visit. Always prepare before any doctors visit to get the most of it. Here is a guide on how best to prepare for a hospital visit to your doctor.