Implement a Timesavings Plan: Communicating Effectively with Your Physician’s Office

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  • By Michele Howe.

    Reminding myself here… to be an advocate for those on both sides of the medical arena with my attitude and my actions.

    With time at an all time premium, it only makes “cents” to learn the best ways to communicate with every physician’s office (for your sake and that of the office staff). Just about everyone has had at least one experience when they’ve felt frustrated waiting longer than they anticipated. This waiting too long can be felt in both in the scheduling department and the literal waiting room itself.

    While everyone’s time is valuable, it appears that mutual understanding is not nearly so equitable. Patients grouse and complain about not getting their needs met fast enough. Physicians and their staff grow weary trying to explain and accommodate these same patients. Individuals from either position end the day exasperated and feeling misunderstood.

    The remedy? Examine the cure-all (for every disagreeable bone in your body) listed below and see if they don’t cure what ails you in the attitude department.

    When Scheduling Physician’s Appointments Always:

    1. Be realistic

    Society in general tries to cram 30 hours of work into a 24-hour day. Patients often schedule appointments on top of other appointments and then become frustrated if something gets thrown off track. (Always leave enough wiggle room.)

    2. Don’t wait until the last-minute

    People frequently wait until the last-minute to call for an appointment or prescription refill and then become frustrated when they are not accommodated accordingly. From an office standpoint, extenuating circumstances are understood. However, it is very frustrating when a patient calls the last-minute with a request that should/could have been addressed sooner.

    3. Be understanding of others and their situations

    It is difficult when someone is in pain or in a hurry to think of other people, but patients need to realize that doctors often run behind because they have had an emergency add-on or someone else needed a longer appointment. If patients would step back and understand that somebody else was in greater need on that particular day, it would ease tensions all around.

    4. Communicate effectively

    This goes both ways, for patients and office staff alike. People can get so much further if they just communicate in an effective manner. Common courtesy and honesty goes a long way (in the doctor/patient relationship as well as in life in general). Unfortunately, some patients think being difficult is what works.

    While this may produce a desired immediate result, it is not worth the long-term compromising of one’s relationships and reputation as a reasonable patient.

    Photo Credit: Ramsd

    Michele Howe

    Michele Howe is a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, FaithfulReader.com, Retailers + Resources, Foreword Magazine, TeenReads.com, KidReads.com, among many others national and international publications. She has published over 2500 reviews/articles and has been featured on numerous radio shows across the country speaking on topics such as parenting and a diverse range of women's health issues. Her work has been published in MORE, FIRST for Women, Good Housekeeping, Christianity Today, Discipleship Journal, Midwest Living, Parentlife, Fullfill, Christian Single, Single Parent Family, Focus on the Family, PRISM, and Connections. She also does manuscript reviewing for several publishing houses including New Growth Press.

    Michele is the author of eighteen books for women. Her first book, "Going It Alone: Meeting the Challenges of Being a Single Mom" (Hendrickson Publishers), provided hope and practical helps for single moms new to parenting solo. She has also authored "Pilgrim Prayers for Single Mothers" (Pilgrim Press) and a third book of helps for single mothers titled, "Successful Single Moms" (Pilgrim Press.) In addition to these resources for single mothers, Michele wrote four separate titles combining real life stories with inspirational prayer retreats. These titles published by (Jossey-Bass) include: "Prayers for Homeschooling Moms," "Prayers to Nourish a Woman's Heart," "Prayers of Comfort and Strength" and "Prayers for New and Expecting Moms."

    Her more recent books include a follow-up resource to "Going It Alone" titled, "Still Going It Alone: Mothering with Faith and Finesse Once the Children Have Grown" (Hendrickson Publishers) and "Burdens Do a Body Good: Meeting Life's Challenges with Strength and Soul" co-authored with orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Christopher A. Foetisch (Hendrickson Publishers).

    One Size Fits All: Making Meaningful Choices, Stepping Into a Meaningful Life was released in early 2013 by Lighthouse of the Carolinas. Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Every Day Resource Kit for a Healthy, Happy Life was released by Bondfire Books in late 2013 and ACTA Publications released, "Faith, Friends, and Other Floatation Devices" which is a compilation of stories, quotes, and practical lifestyle recommendations for "staying afloat" during life's toughest times. Her newest book, Empty Nest, What's Next? Parenting Adult Children Without Losing Your Mind was published fall of 2015. In the fall of 2016, "Caring for Aging Parents: Lessons in Love, Loss, and Letting Go" was released by Hendrickson Publishers. Summer of 2017, her sequel to Empty Nest, What's Next? will be published, Preparing, Adjusting, and Loving the Empty Nest. Read more of Michele's work at michelehowe.wordpress.com and contact Michele at: michelehowewrites@gmail.com.

    For more information, please visit michelehowe.wordpress.com.

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