Preparing for your next appointment

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Before your next appointment, why not try following these simple steps and make sure you are fully prepared.

Step 1: Before your appointment. Be prepared.

 Set a clear goal for your next visit.

  • For instance, make a decision on what you would like to talk about: “I will talk about something that I am no longer able to do because of my COPD, but that I would like to do again”

Monitor how you feel and take your notes to your next visit.

  • Keep track on a dedicated notepad, computer or smartphone
  • Record what you felt, when, how often, and the impact this had on you

Write down any other important questions and topics you want to discuss with your doctor.

Step 2: During your appointment. Express yourself.

Be assertive and open

  • Try to see things from your doctor’s perspective – they may not know or fully understand the impact your COPD is having on your life. Give them clear examples of how COPD is affecting you day-to-day
  • Try to be receptive to guidance and advice even if it seems that it will be difficult to implement

Be clear on the problem

  • For instance, say what you feel, when you feel it and how it affects you. For example: “I get really breathless when I walk to the park with my grandson. I feel really down about this and it is affecting our relationship.”

Ask for a solution and work with your doctor

  • For instance: “What can I do to control my breathing when I walk to the park?”
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for more information or for the doctor to explain something again if you don’t understand
  • Make sure you and your doctor are clear about the goals you set for the next visit

Step 3: After your appointment. Learn from your visit

 Take time to reflect

  • Did you share everything you wanted to share?
  • Did you get all the answers you needed?
  • What will you do again or differently next time?
  • Write down or tell someone soon what the doctor said. It helps you to remember what he said. If in doubt don’t be afraid to call the doctor up again.

Also read

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April 2016

GLRESP/COPD/0117