Communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship. The working relationship you have with your doctor is no exception to this rule.
When it comes to providing you the best possible medical care, your locum tenens hospitalist needs to have a complete understanding of your situation.
And while we know that many patients may have been embarrassed to share some details, we guarantee we’ve never seen a patient’s care go well when they’ve held back from their doctor.
If you aren’t forthcoming with your locum tenens hospitalist during your hospital stay, they will miss out vital information that is important in providing you with the excellent care you deserve.
Even if you’re not worried about embarrassment and you just happen to be a private person, a willingness to share about your medical situation and history is something you’ll need to come to terms with before you’re admitted to the hospital.
Here are some ways you can keep the lines of communication open and help your doctor help you.
Build Your Own Your Medical History
Thank goodness for smartphones, which allow us to carry nearly everything in our pocket.
Using a simple note-taking app such as Evernote, write down all of your medical history and keep it all in one place. This will make it infinitely easier to share this information with your medical team when asked.
If you don’t have access to this kind of technology, carry a small flip pad and a pen. It doesn’t need to be complicated. It just needs to be something that you can use to let you keep track of what’s going on.
One of the biggest issues with patients being seen by multiple physicians is that some information can be missed, which can ultimately put your health at risk.
Don’t take that chance; ensure that everyone is on the same page by keeping track of everything yourself.
Make sure that you get copies of reports and images. The hospital can request that information but if it’s late at night, over a holiday, or on a weekend, they might not be able to get it fast enough to help you.
Answer Every Question Honestly
Maybe you didn’t inhale, but if you used an illicit substance, your doctor needs to know.
In fact, they need to know about anything you’re taking or doing, whether that’s smoking, drinking, drugs (prescription, illegal, or OTC), and even vitamins.
That same honest approach should be applied when it comes to your sexual history, sleeping habits, or anything else the doctor needs to know.
Too many times, patients will answer what they think the physician wants to hear rather than what’s actually true, and that can lead to potentially serious consequences.
Remember this: Whether you choose to tell your physician honestly what they need to know or not, they’ll likely find out eventually anyway.
They can learn a lot through urine and blood tests, and if you have an interaction with a prescribed medication, you’re going to have a lot more challenges than you would have had were you just honest from the get-go.
Also important to note, your hospitalist can only order the tests that he or she thinks is relevant.
When you leave out critical pieces of information, you’re not just making the physician’s job harder – you’re risking your health.
Everything Is Important When It Comes to Your Health
While you may not think it’s vital for your physician to know that you had a cancer scare a decade ago, that bit of information could be crucial to your treatment today.
In fact, those little omissions (or lies) could be the reason you receive one diagnosis when you really should have gotten a different one.
You are in control here, and as much as you might like to believe otherwise, locum tenens and hospitalists are not mind readers. The more you share with us, the better care we will be able to provide.
And that will make your entire experience better.