Friday, April 1, 2011

Be Prepared to

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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