Make sure to give the full story
Provide as much information as you can about your current condition, focusing on key points to keep your explanation brief. Describe whether there was a trigger that led to your symptoms or if there have been any changes recently.
If there is some aspect of your treatment plan that you think will be hard to follow or that you're uncomfortable with, explain this to your treatment team member. Never stop a treatment before discussing it with your healthcare professional.
Don’t be afraid to speak up
Tell your treatment team member what's on your mind, even when it is difficult or embarrassing. This can be challenging, but the more your team members know, the more they can help you.
Know your options
Ask for all possible treatment options from your healthcare professional. It is rare for there to be just one.
Check to make sure you understand
Make sure you understand everything your treatment team member has said. If you’re not sure, repeat back what they told you and ask if you’ve understood correctly. You can also ask your treatment team member to repeat the information, write it down or draw a diagram.
Partner with your treatment team
Let your treatment team know that it’s important to you to be part of your treatment decision-making. Emphasize that you respect their expertise, but you want to understand their thinking when making recommendations. Let them know your expectations about treatment planning so that they can clearly communicate to you what is possible.
After your appointment
Once you and your healthcare professional agree on a treatment plan, it is important for you to understand what you need to do between appointments. Take notes during your appointment for reference later. Afterwards, make a record of what happened. We've created a downloadable Post-Appointment Record tool that you can use to help record treatment team member’s advice during your appointment.