the best out of visiting your GP
General practitioners (GPs) have on average more
than 1,500 patients in their practice, and work at least 80 hours a week. For
this reason, it is important for you to make full use of your time when you
go to see the doctor. The Irish College of General Practitioners www.icgp.ie
make the following recommendations on how to get the best out of visiting
- When going for a visit to the doctor it might
be useful to think ahead - this could save you time.
- Letting the doctor know the reason for your
visit in advance - for example, if you need vaccinations, a routine check
up or a repeat prescription - helps the doctor to make the necessary preparations
and saves you time.
- If your doctor operates an appointment system,
use it and make an appointment.
- For an appointment on the same day, ring as
early as possible.
- If the reason for the call is not urgent let
the secretary know and she will give you a suitable time.
- Try to tell the doctor the main reason for your
visit at the start if the consultation.
- Where a number of things are on your mind, it
might be useful to write these down beforehand. However, remember that the
doctor may not be able to deal fully with everything on this visit and may
ask you to come back at another time.
- If there is something that you are unclear about
when your doctor is explaining your condition or advising you about treatment,
do not be afraid to ask. The doctor will be happy to explain the matter again.
If you are uncomfortable about anything the doctor asks you, do not be afraid
to say so. The visit is for you and your needs and you are in control of what
is discussed and carried out.
- If you have any difficulties or worries before
or during your visit to the doctor, for example, problems of hearing or sight,
or if you are shy or embarrassed about talking about any matter, be assured
that your doctor will understand and will make every effort to help you.
- You are welcome to ask a family member or a
friend to be present during the visit if you feel this would be helpful.
- It is better, if at all possible, for you to
come to the surgery. You may be able to get there quicker and the doctor can
give you a better service in the surgery where all the necessary facilities
are to hand. If you are in doubt whether a house call is necessary, the nurse
or doctor will be happy to talk to you on the phone.
- If a house call is necessary, remember: Give
as much information as possible, give an accurate address, clear directions
and a telephone contact number if you can. Time saved this way may save lives.
- Requests for non-emergency house calls should
be made early in the morning.
- Where you think that the doctor will need to
examine you or carry out a procedure, think about what to wear. For example,
if your blood pressure will be taken, dont wear tight sleeves, or if
you are bringing your baby to be examined, dress the child in clothes that
can be easily removed, this will save time and cause less stress to the child.
- If you have worries or are anxious about any
examination or procedure, talk to the doctor or the practice nurse about this
and they will be happy to help you.
- If you require an intimate examination and would
prefer to have someone else present, such as a family member, a friend or
the practice nurse, please say so and the doctor will be happy to oblige.
- You can be sure that everything you say to your
doctor, the nurse or the practice secretary is treated as confidential. Information
will not be given to any person, including other family members, without your
youre not happy
If there is anything you are unhappy about let
your doctor, the nurse or secretary know right away. They will be pleased to
hear any suggestions you might have about their services and how they can best
look after you and your family.
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