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The following article was published in Your Health Magazine. Our mission is to empower people to live healthier.
Lorraine Rimando, RN, BSN, RA
Advocating For Yourself You and Your Health Practitioner
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Advocating For Yourself You and Your Health Practitioner

Paying a visit to the health care practitioner may often times produce anxiety and worry. This initial nervousness may be related to anticipation of findings, feeling hurried or not being able to find the right words to describe how you feel. However, there is a better way to approach your visit to your practitioner. This involves forming a collaborative relationship with your health practitioner.

As a nurse, I hear patient's complaining about how their doctor zooms in and out of the visit and how they barely had the chance to voice their “true” concerns or ask questions. This can leave the patient feeling frustrated or helpless. The first thing you can do for yourself is do your research. Think about what you want your health practitioner to be like; what type of qualities are you looking for? Some of us want someone who may be straight to the point, “tell it like it is” and send you off with some good advice and prescriptions. Others may want someone who takes their time, assessing not only their physical or main complaints, but exploring their mind, body, emotions, and environment as well. Are you into credentials or are you mainly looking for someone you share the right “chemistry “with? Then, ask around. Is this practitioner recommended by others? Be an advocate for yourself. When you finally find that ideal practitioner, you need to do your part too.

Doing your part means knowing your body, mind and spirit. Pay attention to what may be ailing you. What is going on with your body, what may have lead to it? Meditate and explore how you may be feeling. Be prepared to present your symptoms and signs to your practitioner. If you have any thoughts or concerns, be prepared to voice these to your practitioner as well. Often times I hear clients tell me how they were so anxious that they forgot what they wanted to say and just left it up to their practitioner to figure it out. Your practitioner may be highly educated, but not a mind reader. Jot all of this information down on paper (with honesty) so that you will be ready. This will also help your practitioner figure out what may be the best plan of care for you.

Remember, form a partnership with your practitioner. Be a part of the collaborative process towards better health. Be an advocate for yourself, because only you know yourself better than anyone else.

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