Previously, I talked about 6 rules for healthcare professionals, by Dr Rob. Now, he came out with another 6 rules, this time is for the patients.
1. The healthcare professional that you consult, he/she can't do it alone Be it doctor, pharmacist, or dietitian, no matter how good they are, if you ignore the instructions given by them, the problem you are facing, will be quite impossible to be settled. Although sometimes, not following the instruction is due to the unclear explanation given by the healthcare professional. However, it is good that you voice up if you do not understand. Healthcare professional doesn't have ability to read your mind, to know whether you understand or not. And also, if you do not feel like following the instruction, all you have to do is just say it. Then together, you and him/her discuss about other plan.
2. Be honest Do not be embarrassed about the truth. Your symptoms might be strange, maybe involving your private part. But, there is no any good reason to hide these from the healthcare professional that you are looking for. If you consult them, and don't tell them the whole truth about your health condition, how are they suppose to help you? An ethical, professional doctor/pharmacist/dietitian/etc won't judege you as strange or weird patient. Just give the facts, then you will have best chance to get your desire outcome.
3. They don't play favourites The professionals one, treat every patient equally, as overly liking or disliking a patient will cloud their judgment. So, do not ask for special treatment. If you get one, well, he/she might have special emotion on you, and very high likely that you won't get the best treatment from him/her, as their judgment already impaired by the special emotion on you. So, if you want to play favourites, you are actually playing with fire.
4. Don’t mess with the staff Well, maybe in your mind, the hero is the doctor/pharmacist/dietician/etc, and the rest are nothing. So, when you go inside the office, you mess with them, abuse them, showing your prince/princess attitude. What you might not know is: The staff and the healthcare professional are teammates in treating your condition. The staff is the greatest asset the healthcare professional having. They are valuable and the healthcare professional cannot afford to lose them. They are more valuable than you as a single patient. If you mess with the staff, you are actually posing a high risk on getting second class treatment from the whole team.
5. If you don’t trust, leave People go to the healthcare professionals because they have unique knowledge and experience. They can help to solve your health problems. When you go to a healthcare professional you don’t trust, you will be suspicious about every bad outcome and won’t even trust when things go well. There will be no-win situation for both of you. You are both wasting actually wasting each other's time. Find the one that you trust! However, trusting does not mean you should not ask questions. The one who does not want to be questioned is one you should not trust. Questioning is often the only way to build trust. Unanswered questions tend to undermine trust.
6. No news might be bad news Never assume that your doctor will call you if there is a problem. They are busy people, and they order hundreds of tests every week. They just cannot keep track of all of them. If you don’t get your test results, call!