When you reach your doctor or his assistant over the phone, be prepared to:
* Identify yourself. * Get to the nitty-gritty quickly, especially if you've phoned after hours. (Have someone else call the doctor for you if you are unable to talk.) * Define your problems and symptoms accurately but swiftly. Write them down and keep them near the telephone so you can report them quickly and completely. * Report results of self-tests and other symptoms you have been keeping track of, such as a temperature of 101°F for two days, diarrhea that has lasted for 48 hours, and so on. * Ask the doctor what you should do and write down his instructions carefully. Ask the doctor to spell out any word if you are unsure about it. * Ask if and when you should call back, or if you should come to the clinic. * Ascertain what complications could occur that may require you to hurry to the emergency room. * Don't forget to thank the doctor for talking to you on the telephone!
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