It's "Ok2Ask" about your health
Why is it that we are willing to ask Siri on our iPhones just about anything, but many of us don’t feel comfortable asking our own doctor questions when we don’t understand?
Maybe we don’t feel we should question the doctor, or we just run out of time during our visit.
However, when it comes to our health, there really are no dumb questions. When we play an active role in our own health care, we can improve the quality of care we get. Start by asking questions when you visit the doctor, nurse or pharmacist. It’s always “OK to ask.”
Most people depend on different doctors, nurses, pharmacists and insurance programs for their health care. It’s a team effort and you are the most important member of the team. Make sure to participate in your own medical care by asking questions.
Keep all of your health information in one place to make it easier to manage your healthcare. Bring information with you to your doctor’s appointments. Your health history, including any medical conditions you have and medications you are taking.
Prepare a list of questions to ask your doctor or nurse. For example:
Why am I using this medication or treatment?
How has my condition changed?
What are all of my treatment options?
Why is it important to treat this illness?
How will the illness affect my life?
What are my medications called, what are they for andhow and when do I take them?
When the doctor gives you information that you don’t understand, start by asking two simple questions:
Why is it important to me?
What should I do next?
Make sure you understand what your doctor has told you before you leave the visit. If you don’t understand, know it’s “OK to ask.”
In October, together with the health care community, we will begin promoting our new campaign called “Ok2Ask.” You will see this throughout the county as a reminder that there really are no dumb questions when it comes our own health care.
For more information, go online to www.ok2ask.us.
--Sherri L. Samuels-Fuerst is a nurse and director of compensation and benefits for Sargento Foods Inc. and a member of the HSC2020 Health Literacy committee.