Building a strong relationship with your physician is important for any individual. Within the context of hospice, it becomes particularly important, and not just for the patient but also for the family. Your physician will be having difficult conversations with you and making recommendations. Taking the time to build that relationship helps them know you better, which allows them to make more meaningful recommendations. For a better overall experience with your physician, here are a few tips for how to effectively build a stronger relationship.
Before your appointment, you likely already have a good idea of what will be asked. Take a few minutes to prepare by listing your symptoms and how long each has been present. Or list exactly what’s been troubling you and make sure that each reason for the visit is addressed. Knowing each prescription and non-prescription medication you’re taking is also extremely helpful.
Without full disclosure, your physician can’t be expected to effectively treat you. It’s important that you are completely honest about your lifestyle, symptoms and needs. Many patients feel embarrassed or self-conscious during doctor visits, but holding back can lead to dangerous situations. Let your physician help you to the best of their abilities by telling them everything.
Understand your care plan and follow it
Don’t leave your doctor’s office if you have any questions or uncertainties about the care plan they’ve outlined. Understanding exactly what is expected of you is important for the plan to be successful and ensure maximum comfort and healing. Once the care plan is explained satisfactorily, follow it exactly. Failure to take medications on time or in the correct dosage, or not monitoring blood sugar and other aspects causes the plan to fail. This can lead to changes in the plan that aren’t necessary. Eventually, this is a great deal of time lost.
Bring a companion
Researchers have found that those that see their physician along with a friend or family member are significantly more satisfied with their visit. Having a trusted individual in the room with you helps put you at ease. It also means there’s an extra set of ears there to absorb the doctor’s information. If possible, enlist one individual to attend physician’s appointments with you and rely on them to help keep you organized and on-track.
Additionally, communication with your physician is key. Your doctor is here to help, but they need your help to know exactly how to treat you. The more you know and can tell them about your situation, the better they’ll be able to help you.
At Cura-HPC, we work closely with a number of amazing physicians and medical professionals. We are dedicated to providing hospice care to patients who need it and provide services to their families as well. Contact us to learn more about our hospice and palliative care capabilities.