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Advocating for yourself in a medical environment: 3 Top tips

When you’re in need of medical advice, you deserve full time and attention. As such, here are our three top tips for getting the care you deserve from the people qualified to give it to you.

Medical environments tend to be highly pressured. Staff are constantly in a rush, they’ve got hundreds of patients to see to, and you might be waiting another half hour before they get to you. All of that can be understandable! However, if you ever feel like the doctor isn’t listening to you, or isn’t taking you seriously, it’s time to advocate for yourself.

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When you’re in need of medical advice, you deserve full time and attention. As such, here are our three top tips for getting the care you deserve from the people qualified to give it to you.

Take Someone with You

You don’t have to go into any medical appointments on your own. You can take someone with you to offer physical and emotional support if you need it. This person can even advocate on your behalf if you give them the permission to do so.

Having someone you know and trust with you during an uncertain medical situation is enough to make you feel confident again, and even brave. If you tend to lose your nerve in front of a medical professional, this is certainly the method to employ.

Understand Any Tests You’re Getting

There are a lot of tests in the medical world, and not all of them are going to be relevant when they’re assigned to your health record. As such, don’t be afraid to ask why you’re being sent for something if it’s not immediately obvious to you.

Indeed, if you’re going in for a test, understanding the purpose of it is essential. You can’t make an informed decision about whether or not you want it done if you don’t know why it’s been ordered!

So ask your doctor when they schedule you for something and get a straight answer from them. Say you’re getting your hearing checked; you won’t be able to look into tips for optimizing your hearing test if you’re not even sure why you need one! Understand the purpose, understand its use to you.

Don’t Be Afraid to Stop the Conversation

If the doctor who is talking to you goes off track, or seems to be trying to railroad you into a certain test or form of treatment, you’re allowed to stop the conversation and state your mind.

While it’s important to listen to medical advice after it’s been solicited, if you don’t like the sound of it or it seems totally irrelevant, you can speak up and say so. If the doctor continues, or even becomes hostile towards you, you can go elsewhere and seek a second opinion.

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There is more than one doctor’s office in the world, and you don’t have to stick with the same doctor throughout your life. The healthcare sector provides a service, and that means you can move from office to office until you find someone who is willing to work with both you and your needs.

If you want healthcare tailored to you, start advocating for yourself during appointments.

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Your "not that regular" all-around gal, writing about anything, thus everything. "There's always more to discover... thus write about," she says in between - GASP! - puffs. And so that's what she does, exactly. Write, of course; not (just) puff.

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