Becoming Your Own Health Advocate

Physician Talking to PatientMy main goal as a Health Reference Librarian is to provide information for my patrons so that they can better advocate for themselves in regard to their health.  I provide patrons with consumer friendly information from respected and reputable sources, so that they might better understand what their healthcare provider is telling them and hopefully ask appropriate questions.

Just recently my son was advised by his healthcare professional to should undergo a procedure   Neither my son nor I asked the right questions.  All worked out in the end. He’s feeling better but I’m kicking myself. Why didn’t I ask questions?  Why didn’t I advise my son better?

Here’s some helpful advice about talking to your doctor from MedlinePlus.

Visiting a doctor’s office can make you nervous, impatient, or even scared. You may have only a few minutes with your health care provider. Later, you might remember something you forgot to ask. Or you may forget what the doctor or nurse said. Being prepared can help you get the information you need. Here are some things you can bring to make the most of your visit:

  • Lists of your concerns, any allergies and all the medicines, herbs or vitamins you take
  • A description of symptoms – when they started, what makes them better
  • A notepad or tape recorder
  • A trusted friend or relative

Make sure you understand your diagnosis and any treatments. Ask your health care provider to write down his or her instructions to you. If you still have trouble understanding, ask where you can go for more information.

Visit MedlinePlus for more information and for links to other helpful websites, or stop in and a Health Reference librarian will assist you.

I will from now on heed my own advice.

posted by – Susan, Health Reference Services

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This entry was posted in Health Advocacy, Health Advocate, Health Reference, MedlinePlus, Talking to your doctor. Bookmark the permalink.

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