There are a few ways in which you can make the most of an appointment with your healthcare provider. This can make the process easier for everyone, and potentially help you feel better sooner!
1.Where possible, arrive on time
Especially if it is your first appointment, there is usually some paperwork that may take you up to 10 minutes to fill out. Make sure you schedule an appointment for an appropriate time (factoring in travel), and ask our reception staff how to find the practice and to explain parking. We aim to run on time, and want to give you the maximum available time for assessment and treatment. If you do find yourself caught up and running late for your appointment, simply phone ahead to let your clinician know!
2. Bring a family member or close friend
If you have trouble remembering details, or are feeling nervous about your appointment, bringing along a support person can make all the difference. They could wait in the waiting room during your appointment, or with your permission be present in-room.
3. Ask questions
Healthcare can be confusing, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. There is no such thing as a stupid question! Sometimes your questions can help uncover more information about your condition or injury. It also helps to improve shared decision making with you and your therapist. Gaining a thorough understanding of your injury or condition can help you understand why a certain treatment has been chosen, and motivate you to make any lifestyle changes needed.
4. Come prepared
Make sure you collect any relevant information or documents that will help your session run smoothly. If you are seeing a Physiotherapist, you may bring a sheet of old exercises you did for the same injury, or results of a scan. You may bring a few pairs of shoes along to the Podiatrist, or a food diary to the Dietitian. If you have a doctors referral or workplace injury claim details, better to bring them along. Also your health insurance and Medicare card if you are eligible for a rebate.
5. Implement treatment advice
This could be exercises, stretches, food changes, resting, taking medication, strapping, walking more, walking less… the list goes on! Anything that is a suggested change with the aim to improve your pain or function. Be honest with your therapist about your lifestyle, and what you can realistically achieve. They can then plan accordingly and give you realistic time frames and set time based goals. Our clinicians are human and understand that making any change in our busy lifestyles can be really hard to do! Speak up if you can’t walk for 20 minutes each day, but could go for an hour on weekends.