Be Your Own Healthcare Advocate

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: May 26, 2010

The primary goal of PRIME PLUS/Red Hot Mamas® is to broaden the base of women’s knowledge about menopause and empower them to become educated healthcare consumers, and active participants in their menopause management. Research has shown that if you are more involved in your health care, you can get better results and feel more satisfied.

We really believe that knowledge is power, so we encourage all of our members to become educated about disease categories, symptoms, treatment options and important lifestyle modifications. It is imperative that you understand what is going on with your body so that you may communicate that with your healthcare provider. If you can’t make the best healthcare decision for yourself, who will?

Here are some helpful tips to take control of your healthcare:

Education

  • Keep a “health history” and include all medications you are taking.
  • Educate yourself about your health, the medical tests you may undergo and your treatment plan.
  • Collect information about your condition from your healthcare provider, library and online.
  • Ask your healthcare provider what scientific evidence has to say about your condition and treatment options.
  • Ask your healthcare provider about the specialized training and experience that qualifies them to treat you.

Be Involved

  • Bring a paper and pen to write down your questions for your healthcare provider (doctors, nurses, etc.) as you think of them and ask for answers to these concerns.
  • Take a family member or friend with you to office visits in order to listen to the information, to ask questions, and to talk with afterwards.
  • Read all medical forms and make sure you understand them before signing.
  • Before any medical procedure, make sure you and your healthcare provider are clear on exactly what will be done and why.
  • After any medical procedure, ask your healthcare provider to explain the treatment plan and medications you will be taking.
  • Ask about follow-up procedures. Find out what future appointments you will have and with whom.

In the coming months, the Menopause Minute will provide ips on how to keep your health history and ways to retrieve your health records along with other scientific information.

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