Do you need an appointment at the Health Center? If you're not sure, call for advice from a nurse.
Before your visit
Make notes of any and all information that you will need to give the provider. Here are some possible items to jot down:
- Your signs and symptoms (in the order they occurred and what makes them better or worse).
- Results of home testing (ex: your temperature, blood pressure, COVID-19 home test, etc.).
- Medicines you take (prescribed, over-the-counter, herbal products, vitamins, etc.).
- Allergies to medicines, food, etc.
- Family and personal medical history.
- Your lifestyle/habits (ex: eating, drinking, sleeping, exercising, sexual activity, drug use, etc.).
- Concerns you have about your health.
- What you would like the doctor to do for you.
- Your pharmacist’s phone number and fax number.
If relevant, have your medical records, results of lab tests and X-rays, etc., from other health care providers sent to your doctor before your visit.
During your visit
Reference the notes you took in the previous step, and communicate all of this information to the provider.
Additionally, you may want to ask your provider these questions:
- What do you think the problem or diagnosis is?
- What, if any, tests are needed to rule out or confirm your diagnosis?
- What do I need to do to treat the problem? Do I need to take medicine? How can I prevent the problem in the future?
- When do I need to call or see you again?
After your visit
- Follow your provider's advice.
- Call the provider's office if you later realize that you don't understand something they discussed with you.
- Let your provider know if you feel worse, have other problems or concerning side effects from any medicines, etc.
- If your provider instructs you to make a return visit, make sure you attend this follow-up.
See Be More Engaged In Your Healthcare, a patient guide from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.