Advice to help make healthcare instructions clear

Picture of patient and doctor for healthcare instructions article

You are an active part of your health care team. So whether you have a routine checkup or you’re seeing a specialist for the first time, it is important to ask questions and make sure you clearly understand your health care provider’s advice and instructions. You may use the tips below to help you prepare for your next appointment.

  • Any question is a good question. Your health care provider wants what is best for you. And that includes clearly understanding his or her advice. If there’s a word that is new to you or any detail you have questions about, let your health care provider know. Watch this video for more details on asking your health care provider questions.
  • Bring a family member or friend with you. You may hear a lot of new information from your health care provider, especially if you have a new condition. Ask a friend or family member to go with you to your health care provider’s visit to take notes or ask follow-up questions to help make sure your health care provider hears all of your concerns.
  • Be clear on medication safety. Medications sometimes have special instructions—like when and how to take them or if they will make you sleepy. Your pharmacist can help answer questions about your medication or refresh your memory if some time has passed since you had your last health care provider’s visit. You can also check out our workbook on managing your medicines.
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