Friday, November 11, 2011

If Nothing Else, Ask…

“What happens next?”

If there’s one question that will really get to the heart of what’s going on with your health, that’s the one to ask your doctor. It’s a great way to clarify information if your doctor just delivered less than good news and your head is spinning.

If you feel that you understand the big picture, asking “what happens next?” will break down a diagnosis into smaller steps. It can prompt a conversation about scheduling and timelines, how you may feel as things progress, or treatment options you may be able to choose at each step in your care.

This little gem of a question was tucked into an enlightening list from Reader’s Digest entitled “50 Secrets Your Nurse Won’t Tell You”. Author Michelle Crouch compiled the responses from nurses across the country.

Here’s the excerpt from #45, contributed by Wisconsin nurse Kristin Baird:
At the end of an appointment, ask yourself: Do I know what's happening next? If you had blood drawn, find out who's calling who with the results, and when. People assume that if they haven't heard from anyone, nothing is wrong. But I've heard horror stories. One positive biopsy sat under a pile of papers for three weeks."

A simple "what happens next?" can put everyone involved on the right track.

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