Being an empowered patient is about taking an active part in your healthcare. When you are empowered about your situation you don’t just simply rely on the doctor to inform you and provide all the answers, you ask provoking questions and do some research on your own. If you or loved one happen to have been diagnosed with hypertension, here are some important questions to ask their physician in regards to their healthcare and overall treatment.
What is my exact diagnosis?
You need to know the official medical name so that you can research the correct thing. There are several forms of high blood pressure and you need to know what form you have. Other common questions that fall into this category is, How severe is my condition? What is/was the cause for the condition, and What treatment approach do you need to expect and follow?
Make sure to take a pad and pen in with you so that you can write down the information that is being provided. Don’t expect yourself to remember everything that they say word for word, write it down.
What are the initial steps of the treatment plan that you need to follow?
You will want to obtain your very next steps in dealing with your diagnosis. Will it medication or changes in lifestyle? If medication is prescribed make sure that you know how to use the drugs properly, and verify if any supplements or other items you are on will interfere or cause a bad reaction.
Ask your doctor when you should return for a follow-up appointment.
Don’t wait until the receptionist schedules one for you, he/she will give you what is available, but your doctor will tell you the proper timeframe to be seen within, example the next two weeks for medication check.
What are the Goals for our next appointment?
As with other information provided, be sure to write these down. These are the things that your doctor would like to see happen, and that you can report back about on your next visit. Questions such as what is the target blood pressure for next visit?, Specific changes you need to make to your lifestyle and order of priority?, and Where you should be on drug therapy if prescribed?
Doctors understand that years worth of bad habits will not necessarily be turned around in a few weeks, but you need to have an action plan, with goals to enable your success.
Are there any referrals or recommendations to work with other professionals?
For instance, if your doctor has prescribed a drastic change in diet and exercise, does he/she recommend you meet with a nutritionist or physical therapist, etc to help in developing a plan to assist you in reaching success.
Remember, that the doctors work for you. You have the right and the responsibility to ask questions about your health.