How To Get The Most Out Of Your Appointment With A Health Professional
Before your appointment
Ask for a longer appointment than normal if the problem you want to discuss is complex, or you need to discuss several issues.
If you don’t feel confident about your appointment, arrange to take a family/whānau member or friend with you.
Prepare a summary of your health problems, prioritise the issues you most want to discuss, and make a list of questions as you think of them.
During your appointment
You should expect to be listened to – and be given clear and adequate explanations of your condition, any recommended tests, treatment options and the expected results.
When you describe your problems, be as accurate, complete and honest as possible.
If your health professional recommends a test, treatment or procedure and you are not clear of its purpose or benefits, you may want to discuss this.
If you don’t understand anything, tell your health professional – and ask them to repeat or clarify the information until you do understand.
Take notes if you think you may have trouble remembering important details (or ask your health professional or support person to take notes for you).
If you want to know more, ask your health professional for some written information, or suggestions of where you might find it
After your appointment
You may want to make a follow-up appointment to ask further questions, discuss continuing issues or talk to your health professional about your decisions after you’ve had time to consider the options.
If you want to discuss anything with another health professional, don’t hesitate to get another opinion.