I’ve had a lot of medical appointments over the years and I have learnt a few tips from my experiences and from the medical practitioners and their staff.
When it comes to booking appointments, there are a few things to consider – not just for yourself, but also for your doctor and their team.
A lot of these tips are just common courtesy, but when we are in pain, uncomfortable or dealing with stressful situations, it can be hard to function and remember the basics, let alone adding in manners too!
These are a few of the things I have learnt over the years that have helped manage my appointments:
- Turn up 10 minutes earlier than your appointment time – just in case there is any paperwork you need to fill out, give youself time to mentally prepare for the appointment, or if you are lucky, your doctor may be able to see you earlier than planned.
- Avoid making appointments on Mondays, unless it is an emergency. The doctors usually are running late on their appointment schedule because they are squeezing in extra patients who need emergency consultations after the weekend. Plan to have your regular appointments on another day so that you see your doctor close to the arranged time.
- Make sure you have the right length of time for your appointment. Request a longer appointment if you suspect you may need it. It isn’t fair to make your doctor late for their other patients, rushing to catch up, prolong their working day or make other patients wait.
- Find out what options are available for appointments with your doctor – they might have short appointments or phone consultations if that is all you need.
- Book appointments in the morning. It gives you less time to think about the upcoming appointment and treatment, you are less fatigued by the hours you’ve been awake before the appointment, and the doctor is less likely to be running late.
- Get to know your receptionists – they are lovely people!
- Ask for specific details about the location of the clinic – Is it accessible? Is there parking close by?
- Find out how much the appointment will cost in advance and if you need to bring public or private health care rebate cards with you. There may be cancellation fees within a certain timeframe of the appointment too.
- Keep a note in your calendar to remind you before the expiration date of any medical referrals.
- Book regular and predicted appointments in advance. It’s better to cancel than to need an appointment at the last minute and not be able to get one.
- If the receptionist needs to move one of your appointments and you have the opportunity to be flexible, do it. One day you might need a favour from them for an emergency appointment and they are the guard at the gates when it comes to seeing your doctor.
- Don’t abuse the request for an emergency appointment unless you really need it. Crying wolf doesn’t help anyone in the long run.
- Accept what times and dates you can get. Sometimes it is never going to be perfect conditions or preferences and we just have to practice acceptance.
I hope this information helps make managing your appointments easier for everyone.
Take care, Readers. I’ll keep the light on.