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10 Ways To Be Your Best Advocate

10 Ways To Be Your Best Advocate

No one knows how you feel except for you. Good communication and being proactive is vital as you advocate for yourself and others. Here are some helpful tips you can practice as you advocate for yourself.

Before your doctors appointments

  • Communicate how you physically feel. Don’t allow a long period of time to go by before taking proactive steps to take care of the problem.
  • Make your doctor appointments.
  • Make a list or note of symptoms and what you’ve done to help your condition.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins, and any supplements you take or over the counter medication. Take your list and notes to your doctor’s appointment.
  • Make a list of questions to ask your doctor and have them handy when you see your doctor. Let your nurse or doctor know you have questions.

After your doctors appointments

  • Follow-up with the nurse or doctor to make sure you receive any prescriptions, test orders, and results. If someone is supposed to call you, follow-up with them if you don’t hear back.
  • Keep a copy of all of test results. Make yourself a file for easy access. Most healthcare providers use patient portals you can access to receive all your records and send messages to your physician.
  • If you have followed through with your physician’s recommendations and don’t feel any better, call back and let them know. Don’t wait.
  • If you don’t agree with your physician or nurse or feel they are not a good “fit” for you, then change. You have the right as a patient to change physicians and receive all copies to your medical records and test reports.
  • Remember you are the head of your healthcare team. You’re in charge of selecting who you want on your team. They work for you, you don’t work for them.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.