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Telling your healthcare provider (HCP) about yourself will help improve your care. And ask questions when you don’t understand something, or just want to know more. Don’t be afraid to speak up! Good communication with your HCP helps you get the most out of your healthcare.
All sorts of things can affect your health. So your HCP needs to know about your daily life.
Tell Your HCP
Where you work and what you do
Whether you live alone or with others
About your eating and sleeping habits
Whether you get regular exercise
If you drink alcohol or smoke
If you are under a lot of stress
If you are dealing with a major life change such as marriage, divorce, or retirement
Your health and wellness goals
Symptoms are a change from what’s normal. They suggest illness or injury. If you notice a change in the way your body looks, works, or feels, tell your HCP.
Tell Your HCP
The type of symptom, such as pain, fever, nausea, or weakness
When your symptoms started
How often you have symptoms
Whether your symptoms wake you up at night
Whether you have symptoms at a certain time of day or while you are doing specific things
How bad your symptoms are
Whether your symptoms interfere with your daily activities and, if so, how
Whether other family members or people you spend time with have similar symptoms
Whether your symptoms are getting better or worse
Whether you have had these symptoms before
Whether you have other symptoms
A diagnosis identifies the cause of an illness or the reason for symptoms. Be sure you understand your diagnosis. This will make it easier for you and your HCP to reach decisions about your treatment and care.
Ask Your HCP
The name of the condition
The cause of the condition
How long the condition will last
Whether there will be any long-term effects
What you can do to prevent the condition in the future
How you can learn more about the condition
Medical tests include things such as blood tests and x-rays. If you have a medical problem, tests can give your doctor more information. Tests can also uncover hidden health problems.
Ask Your HCP
Why you need the test
What the test results will show
If there are any risks
How accurate the test results will be
How much the test will cost and if there is a less expensive option
How the test is done and how long it will take
What you need to do to get ready for the test
How you will feel after the test
If you will be able to drive yourself home
Many medical conditions can be treated. Your HCP may recommend a certain treatment. But it’s a decision you need to make together.
About all your treatment options, including diet, exercise, medication, and surgery
How much treatment will cost
How soon you should start treatment
How long treatment will last
Whether there are risks
What will happen if the condition is not treated
The goal of prevention is to keep from developing diseases or conditions. It’s easier to prevent illness than it is to cure it. Talk to your HCP about what you can do to keep yourself healthy.
How often you should come in for checkups
Whether you should get shots to prevent disease
How often you should get screening tests
Whether you should make any lifestyle changes