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How to Make the Most Time of Your Doctors Appointment

Updated on March 18, 2016

Starting off on the right track

While you may not be visiting Dr. Nick there are some things that will help you make the most of your Drs visit.

Working in a doctors office has helped me to help you.

What Not To Do:

Some patients will arrive an hour to an hour and a half early hoping they will be taken early, however what you don't realize is that other people have an appointment and will be taken first. If you arrive early, sign in and take a seat and don't bug the receptionist when are they coming to get me. If your time has come and you haven't been called back then feel free to ask.

Shut your cell phones off or put them on vibrate. Some people who are really ill may not want to hear you talking on the phone. Be considerate of the medical assistants when they are taking your vitals by not answering your phone.

If you decide to bring your family with you that is fine, but they do not need to fill out your papers or answer questions for you. Unless you need them to fill them out then please fill out your own paperwork and answer any questions yourself. A lot of times when a man answers for his wife, we can assume this is a controling behavior and could subject you to being asked about abuse. If it is mailed to you ahead of time or you download it off the internet, then fill it out before your appointment. That will save you loads of time.

When your being weighed don't move the scale your self. Place your hands at your side and let the medical assistant weigh you. Moving the scale yourself is not giving them an accurate weight. Also scales vary and what you weighed at home and at your other doctors is not our concern. It is our concern to have the weight our scale says.

When asked how tall you are dont reply "i used to be" we need to know how tall you are right now.

Don't show up on the wrong day and expect to be seen. Or just walk in and expect to be seen.

If you have left a message about refills, procedures, or any other thing, please know we take care of these issues when the office is closed for lunch because it is the only time we have to get back to you. No one is ignoring you we will call you back.

If you are called by the medical assistant because the doctor asked them to, don't argue with them about what the doctor said because he is the one that gave them the message of what to tell you.

Don't come out of your room and ask "has the doctor forgotten me"? While it may seem like you have been in there a long time, there are people who may have extensive cases that need more time then they were scheduled. We try not to let it happen but people can get very sick and need more time.

Although you may be in a talking mood, try to keep it to a minimum while the Medical Assistant is in the room. We love to talk to our patients but sometimes people keep us longer than we really should stay and that makes it unfair to the other MA's who are getting patients back.

Things you should do:

Make sure you have your insurance card and identification and your copay ready. If your doctors office fills prescriptions make sure you have the money to pay for them. You wouldn't go to CVS and not be expected to pay for your prescriptions.

Bring a list of all your prescriptions and supplements you are taking. This is an important part of your medical record. Don't assume we know what that little white pill is. Bring the list and not the whole bag of prescription bottles.

Make sure we are current on all your current conditions, past procedures, or sugeries.

When having your blood pressure taken, sit with your back straight in the chair, legs uncrossed, and arm extended. It's very hard to take a blood pressure with your arm bent.

Make a list of any questions that you have for the doctor. This will save you time so that you don't have to sit there and ponder about what to ask.

If you are having blood drawn, make sure you drink a lot of water the day before your appointment. Caffeine constricts the veins making it harder to stick you.

Every time you come to the office your medications must be updated. Even if it is already in your chart.

Ask for a copy of your last labs, xrays, or office notes. You have a right to have them.

One thing I can tell you that is a big no no is if you are seeing two differnt doctors who are working together on your case such as an oncologist and the doctor who referred you, if you are wanting results of a pet scan or any scan that the oncologist ordered, do not call the other doctor to get your results. Even though the results will be shared, the doctor who ordered it is the one that needs to tell you what it says. Many patients have gotten wrong diagnosis by doing this because the other doctor did not know what some of the words meant.

Write down all your questions

So what really goes on back there.

Where I work we have three medical assistance and the things that slow us up is doctors ordering shots for patients in the rooms. Although it was our intent to come and get you now we have to go pull the shot, order it in the computer, give it and chart it.

We try to keep things moving, but one little thing can throw off the whole morning and make it take that much longer to get you. What if someone is in need of a blood transfusion. After drawing blood and getting the results, we have to call the hospital, get a room, get the orders from the doctor which could take long because they are with other patients and then send them to the hospital.

While we try our best to not let anyone sit in the waiting room, emergencies happen and nine times out of ten you are not coming to the doctors because you are well. So take that in to consideration before you start yelling.

If you know you have to go to work then be the first patient in the morning or the last patient of the day. This will help speed up your time.

All I can say is things can get hectic and you can make a difference in the way your visit goes.


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