Make Sure You Understand
It is very important you understand what your doctor/care provider is saying. The more you know about your health, the healthier you will be. These tips will help you help your doctor/care provider put information in terms you can understand.
- If you don’t understand a word or a concept, ask your doctor/care provider to explain it again (and again if you need to). It can also help to have your doctor/care provider draw pictures (such as where a bone is broken)
- Use the “teach back” method. Say to your doctor/care provider, “I just want to make sure I have this right…” and then repeat what he or she has said in your own words
- Ask your doctor/care provider to be as concrete as possible when giving you directions, like “When you say ‘rest’ does that mean stay in bed for a week or just not go to the gym?” Or, “When you say ‘take three pills a day’ what times should I take them?”
- At the end of each visit, ask your doctor what are the most important things you should remember and then be sure to write them down