In my career as a therapist and in daily life also I have seen many people who visit hospitals or clinics but are not prepared for a therapy session. Some people even ask ambiguous questions like: “I know I have a problem, but what is the problem…I don’t know”. Some say “I have a lot of problems but can’t understand from where to start”. I agree that when problems are manifold they can become confusing to localize and express. In certain mental illness when insight is impaired, it is difficult to even realize that a person is having so and so problems. But, what about others, who do not have such confusing or challenging situations?
My point is whenever you visit a clinic or doctor; you need to be well-prepared for that visit. After all its your effort, money, time and precious life. So the health visit should be worth. This blog post is based on all the points and things you need to prepare before visiting a clinical setting/hospital or Doctor. This will help your health care professional to have a clear-cut understanding of your problem. And this will ultimately help you to get well soon without much unnecessary suffering.
Unless and until your confidentiality is at stake, do not hide or seclude your personal details from your doctor or therapist. Information regarding your age, family structure, relationship, social, educational/professional life and so on will serve as an important clue for the identification of the problem, aggravating factors, support system, prognosis of the problem etc.
This is a significant point that people often forget to mention. During your therapy or treatment session, it is also necessary to mention whether any one in your family or relatives suffered from the same, similar or other chronic illness. This gives an idea about the genetic predisposition of your problems/symptoms. Family history also gives an idea about the prognosis of the problem, ways to manage it and how to prevent it from getting inherited to the future generations.
Prior history of any other illness and treatment
If you had any similar illness or other chronic/acute disease/infection in the past, do not forget to mention this too. If you had taken any prior treatment for the problem you are facing now then please remember to share that with your doctor too. It is wise to maintain a special document or folder/file of your health/doctor visits, assessment types, diagnosis, treatment regime, medications and carry with yourself during your therapy session.
This enables your doctor to have a clear-cut understanding of your past medical history, diagnosis, misdiagnoses if any, medication chart, effect of medications on your health and other important aspects.
Allergies and Opportunistic infections
Allergies and infections are also worth-mentioning. If you are allergic to certain medication, chemical or allergy-causing agent, then you need to say this too. This will help your health care professional to prescribe you therapies or medicines that do not provoke allergies in your body.
If you have a lot of problems or symptoms then it is wise to start with the one that is troubling you most. This ways you and your clinic can work out a hierarchy of problems to deal with during the entire course of treatment. Doing this will also help in symptom re-evaluation and follow up.
Insurance and health cover
Some of you must already be having these. If your insurance company pays for a certain illness that you are suffering for, you can claim that amount without any hesitation. This will strengthen you monetarily and help in the treatment process too. Choose a hospital or clinic that is under the limits of your insurance or health cover.
Do not forget to carry a handy notebook or pocket diary of important phone numbers or addresses of your near ones or the ones who can help you. If you would need immediate hospitalization, then this notebook will be very helpful to contact them easily.
OK friends… So these were some of the very important chunk of information and stuff that you need to do or preparing before going to a hospital or clinical therapy session. If possible, you can carry a small note of all the important points you need to discuss with your doctor beforehand. This ways you will not forget anything and your therapy session will be worth all your precious time, money and efforts.