Visiting the doctor can be an extremely stressful experience. However, when it comes to taking preventative actions before visiting a doctor, you can do a lot to reduce the anxiety before it even comes close. One of these steps is preparing yourself for a visit ahead of time. Here are 18 tips on getting ready for your next doctor’s appointment, as shared by Partida Corona Medical Center.
As a general rule of thumb, you should always schedule your doctor’s appointment at least one month in advance. Note: your health situation can change fast. This is why it is important to plan ahead. You will have time to prepare and think about your questions and concerns.
Route your trip to the doctor
You will definitely be more relaxed if you plan for your doctor’s appointment. Get to know the location of your doctor’s office beforehand so that you can be prepared, especially when it comes to directions and specific traffic issues that may occur during the day.
Bring a family member or friend along
The presence of another person during the doctor’s appointment can be very reassuring because they will be there to support you throughout the process and answer any questions that you might not have thought of ahead of time.
Bring a small bag or backpack to bring any medication that you might need to take, your ID, and any records of your medical history. Avoid carrying unnecessary, heavy items that you might not necessarily need.
Eat beforehand, no big meals
Before going to the doctor, eat a light meal instead of a big one. If possible, avoid eating as you might feel nauseated during the examination (especially if you have to have additional tests or procedures done). Having food in your stomach will make you feel uncomfortable and even lightheaded due to blood pressure changes.
Make sure you’re well-rested
You should never go to a doctor’s appointment while feeling tired or fatigued. Being well-rested will enable you to pay attention and give the best feedback possible during the visit. So make sure that you have rested prior to your appointment.
Know your medications
Know exactly which medications that you are currently taking and ensure that they are all available to take during the doctor’s visit. Furthermore, these medications should also be stored in a different place where they cannot be mixed with other medicines, for instance, on top of the kitchen cabinet or in a different medicine bottle. If you need to use medication before going to the doctor, always make sure not to mix them with other types of medicine.
Ensure that all documents are in order
If you have to renew your insurance, pay your rent, or need new prescriptions, make sure you bring the necessary documents with you when you meet with your doctor. It is also best to bring more than one document so that the doctor can choose which one he would like to review. For example, if one of the documents provides a letter from a therapist, then your doctor will probably prefer reviewing that one. Therefore, it is wiser to bring as many copies of this document as possible so that it could be given to the appropriate individual in case they need it.
Get rid of distractions
Make sure to turn off your phone and put it in silent mode. Also, put away any devices like laptops, tablets, or e-reader. The last thing you want to happen is that you receive a text message or an urgent email from work and start checking your emails during the examination. This will definitely make you distracted.
Bring items for the waiting room
It is always good to have a few items in your purse just in case the doctor’s office staff asks you to wait. The last thing you want is to be stuck without anything to do in the waiting room. You should always bring something with you, and it is best if it’s something small like a book or magazine that you can read for a while. Sometimes, waiting rooms can be very long and boring, so having something to cheer or entertain yourself with will definitely help your mood and make the time pass more quickly.
Record any allergies, prior surgeries, or current medical conditions
It is important to let the doctor know if you have any allergies, prior surgeries, or current medical conditions. This will allow the doctor to prepare in case they need to use additional precautions when carrying out the examination. It is also essential to note if there are any reactions that you had when you received certain types of medication in the past.
Gather family records
Bringing all or at least some of your family member’s medical records can be very beneficial in a number of different ways. First, it will allow the doctor to identify any illnesses that run in the family and provide you with a better perspective and understanding of your own health-related concerns.
Always wear comfortable clothing that fits properly
You want to feel at ease during your doctor’s appointment, and wearing uncomfortable clothing will make you anxious. You should also wear comfortable shoes, no heels because you never know how long the doctor’s visit will last.
Avoid wearing perfume or cologne
You should avoid wearing perfume or cologne because it can cause an allergic reaction to the medical staff or the doctor. Also, wearing too much of it might irritate your nose and throat if you need an examination that requires you to breathe in. Make sure you also avoid deodorants and talcum powder because these can easily irritate as well.
Bring a small notebook or journal
This is helpful if you are taking notes about your visit, as it will leave this for you so that you can refer back to it later on. So after the doctor is done, jot down some notes about what was discussed or noted during the visit.
Limit your appointments
If you have more than one doctor’s appointment within the same week, make sure you tell the first doctor that you are having other visits so that they do not require you to arrive earlier than scheduled. Also, it is best to avoid going to your doctor’s office with a heavy or lengthy agenda of other appointments because this will take up too much of your time and you might feel rushed.
Ensure your insurance is up to date
When you go to your doctor’s appointment, make sure your insurance is up-to-date. This way, you will claim any needed medical treatment since it will show that you are covered by that particular health plan.
Keep an open mind.
Make sure you come to your appointment with an open mind. This way, you will be able to give the doctor a full and detailed account of your health issues without adding any unnecessary details or causes for worry.
If you are going through a health problem, you may want to seek medical aid immediately before it gets worse. However, be sure that you have all the information regarding your illness and medical condition before going to a medical office.