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PRIOR TO YOUR APPOINTMENT

          ● Write a list of questions/concerns that you want addressed and
             prioritise those you wish to discuss.
          ● Record your symptoms, when they occur, for how long, what
             makes them better or worse.
          ● Bring a list of your medications and the dosage.
          ● Invite a family member/friend to accompany you to act as a
             second listener. Give them your list of concerns, so they can
             prompt you if required.
          ● Understand your family may also have questions
             themselves.
          ● Bring something to read, if you have to wait for your
             appointment.
          ● Inform your healthcare professional if you have any language, literacy or vision/hearing problems,
             so they can accommodate you. Tell them in advance if you need an interpreter.



        DURING THE VISIT
        ● Make notes of the most important issues/action plan.                      Remember it is in
        ● Keep the discussion focused.                                              your best interest
        ● Seek clarification if you do not understand any part of the
           discussion. This clarification can help correct                        to develop the skills
           misunderstandings/ miscommunication.                                   to ensure that the
        ● Be honest about how you feel, particularly if you are having       communication with your
           difficulty sticking to your treatment plan. Sometimes you may         healthcare team is
           feel frightened or unsure. Discussing your feelings and asking            as effective
           questions may help you prepare for treatment or ease your worries.
                                                                                     as it can be
           This may help to clarify expectations and help you feel more in control.
        ● If you do not understand any medical term that the healthcare professional
           uses, ask them to use lay person’s terms.
        ● Tell your healthcare professional if you are unable or do not want to follow their advice /treatment
           plan. They may be able to provide you with an alternative treatment plan, which will fit with your values
           and daily habits.
                                             ● At the end of your visit ensure you are clear with regards to what
                                                will happen next. Example: when is your next appointment? What
                                                symptoms should you watch out for?
                Good, clear,                 ● Before you leave you may wish to briefly repeat back to the
          open communication                    healthcare professional some of the key points of the discussion
           is the cornerstone to                to ensure you understood.

             building a trusting             ● Ask your healthcare professional to write down any instructions
           partnership between               ● If you feel you need support around other issues which may be
                                                or recommend any reading.
                 you and your                   impacting on your ability to cope with your illness, ask for extra
               healthcare team                  support. Your healthcare professional may be able to refer you to

                                                a counsellor, psychologist or social worker for support around
                                                emotional, practical, financial, and other issues etc.





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