Tips for Communicating with Healthcare Professionals

Last update on Apr, 21, 2021

Your relationships with your healthcare professionals, be they Miracle-Ear hearing care professionals or any other healthcare providers, are deeply personal. You need to be able to trust them with your intimate experiences, your symptoms and your concerns. The healthcare professionals should, in turn, listen attentively, provide effective feedback and explain your treatment options in a way you can easily understand. Just like any other substantial relationship, effective communication with your healthcare providers is foundational to building a meaningful partnership. Here are some tips on how to best communicate with healthcare professionals to ensure you’re getting the most possible out of your healthcare-related relationships. 

Before your appointment

Stay organized.

Healthcare professionals, just like the rest of us, are very busy people. Odds are they have a full roster of people to see both before and after your visit. Make the most of your limited time together by keeping yourself well organized. Have important information where it is readily accessible.

Keep good records.

It helps to have documentation ready so you don’t have to keep your entire health history in your head. Maintain a record of both past and present medications, dates of important medical incidents in your past, your family health history, names of other healthcare professionals you have seen or are currently seeing, allergies to medications, symptoms you are experiencing and any other information you think may be of note.

Think ahead.

Develop a list of questions you would like your healthcare provider to address ahead of your appointment. Focus in on the two to three top concerns you want to discuss, as well as any follow-up questions that you think are important. Knowing what you want to talk about before the conversation takes place can help you delve into your most vital areas of concern easily.

During your appointment

Bring support.

Consider the possibility of bringing an appointment buddy with you. Sometimes dealing head-on with decisions relating to your health and treatment options can be an emotional experience. Having a trusted advocate to help you listen and sort through new information can be extremely helpful.

Get clarity.

Make sure to ask questions about any and all concerns you may have. Communicating effectively with healthcare professionals requires that both parties be present and represented. Be assertive in getting the information you need to make informed decisions about your health. A helpful technique to clear up any misunderstandings is to repeat the answers you receive back to your healthcare provider in your own words. This helps to ensure that any barriers to your understanding are addressed in a timely manner.

Be honest.

Your healthcare provider will often need additional information about your health or lifestyle to address your concerns. Be sure to answer all questions they pose to you honestly and as completely as possible, even if they make you uncomfortable. Everything you share is considered confidential, and it will often help to add valuable context. 

After your appointment

Follow up.

If you continue to experience problems after your appointment, or you forgot to communicate something of importance, don’t hesitate to schedule a follow-up appointment with your healthcare provider. You may also need to schedule lab or test appointments as part of your care plan. 

Stay in touch.

Find out if your healthcare provider uses any sort of electronic communication, such as email or an online portal. Using these electronic tools can save you time by communicating directly to your healthcare provider without necessarily coming into the office. Additionally, you may be able to access previous appointments or lab results for your records. 

Developing effective communication with healthcare professionals is a skill, and it can take time. The effort, however, is worth it. There’s nothing more important than your health. Creating an open, effective partnership with your healthcare providers is crucial to maintaining that health.

If you’ve recently taken the important step of booking a free hearing test with Miracle-Ear, make sure to check out our tips on preparing for a hearing test. Knowing what to expect from your hearing test, along with these tips on communicating with healthcare professionals, will help you get the most out your appointment. 

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