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Help your doctors and nurses help you!

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Help your doctors and nurses help you!

One of the comments I read yesterday featured a helpful suggestion that all myeloma patients can use.  Jan from Washington State shared this:

Don’t get me wrong, I too, have to have a hand written, hard copy of my pain medication prescriptions, Oxycontin or Oxycodone, to give to the pharmacy, from my hand to the pharmacist!!! BUT, my doctor mails these prescriptions to me at home, usually 3 seperate prescriptions dated for the next 3 months, so I can only use one prescription at a time. This way I do not have to make a separate trip to my doctors office for the sole reason to pick up these prescriptions. I do not own a car and live alone! My doctor cannot mail them to the pharmacy, as I have to hand deliver the prescription to the pharmacist. Does this clarify things a little?  The only difference is instead of the patient going to the doctors office, the doctor mails the prescriptions to the patient. This most likely will only be done with a well established relationship between patient and prescribing doctor…

Thanks, Jan!  A very helpful tip!  But I want to take what Jan wrote a step further.

I would like to stress how important it is to establish a personal relationship with your doctor and/or their nurse and/or Physicians Assistant (PA).   Repeat after me:

Doctors and their staff are part of MY HEALTHCARE TEAM!

Most healthcare professionals want to help you.  That’s why they studied hard to become doctors and nurses in the first place.  I think we forget that sometimes.

Doctors and nurses are, by definition, busy people.  They may not have time to think about how they can make your life easier.  But I bet most would welcome suggestions from you with ways to do just that.  Sure, some may resist change and respond sternly by saying things like, “We don’t do it that way here.”

My suggestion?  If you encounter that type of resistance, try someone else in the office.  And if you don’t feel you are getting the help you need, try another office!

Don’t sit helplessly and end-up feeling frustrated, behave rudely or make unreasonable demands.  Instead, try working together to solve problems.

Jan’s tip is a perfect example of this.  She doesn’t need to make a special trip into the office every month, and the office only needs to handle the paperwork once every three months.  It’s a WIN/WIN!

So next time you find yourself sitting in the waiting room, give some thought to ways the staff and your physician can help make things easier for you.  Ask questions.  Make suggestions.  Work together for one common goal:  improving your health and quality of life!

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat