Working in a medical office has opened my eyes to many things so I decided to compile a list of things one should think about when visiting their doctor.
Here Are Your Ten Tips:
1. Arrive early - If your appointment is for 9am, please allow ample time to check-in. Expect to arrive at least 5-10 minutes early. Remember, you are not the only patient the doctor has on his agenda. Be courteous to others and never take the doctor’s time for granted. Doctors, nurses and your fellow patients don’t deserve that type of treatment.
2. Insurance Card - Make sure you have an updated insurance card in your wallet. Due to higher costs and/or job changes, people are often changing their medical insurances to save money. It’s not the office’s responsibility to figure out if your medical insurance is current. Also, if you don’t know if your insurance has change, calling the number on the back of the card would be a great idea before visiting your doctor. It saves time for both you and the doctor.
3. Co-pays - If you have an appointment to see your doctor, you know for a fact if you have a co-pay or not. Don’t act surprised when the front desk asks for your co-pay upfront. Also, don’t ask to be billed. If you are required to pay a co-pay to see a doctor, it is expected to be paid upfront before seeing the doctor.
4. Personal Space - Please allow enough space between you and the patient in front of you. This gives the patient privacy when front desk is verifying important and private information. It’s also called RESPECT. You wouldn’t want a stranger on your back when someone is sharing your private business.
5. Cover Your Mouth - You don’t know how many times I have seen adults cough or sneeze without covering their mouths. It’s disgusting, unsanitary and just plain ol’ rude to not keep your dirty germs to yourself. It’s understandable that you are sick but you don’t need to “spread it.”
6. Billing Issues - You heard of that saying “Don’t shoot the messenger?” Well, if your account comes up with a billing issue (meaning you owe the medical office money), you will know when you are checking in with the front desk. Please don’t get upset with the people trying to help you. They’re not billing you — chances are your insurance is billing you and you have to deal with your insurance company to figure out what’s going on.
7. Appointments - When you are given a card with your next doctor’s appointment, it is YOUR responsibility to remember to visit your doctor on said day. It is not the responsibility for the medical office to call you to remind you about your own appointment. If your office does call, it is done as a courtesy to the patients.
8. Don’t Confuse the C’s - The front desk staff are clerical, not clinical. Most likely they cannot answer your medical questions so please try to remember that when you are checking in and save your breath before asking. Wait til’ you’re called and ask the nurse.
9. Prescriptions - This is a good one. There are so many people trying to cheat the prescription system nowadays. There are people who are addicted to Oxycontin, Percocet and other drugs that are addictive. So most offices are now requiring patients to sign a sign-out sheet when they pick up their controlled substance prescription, just in case. So don’t try to get those extra pills.
10. Fasting - Last but definitely not least, fasting does not mean don’t brush your teeth. It means you can’t eat anything for a twelve-hour period prior to your appointment. You can most definitely drink a little water with your medication, if need be, and you can definitely brush your teeth before lab work.
So PLEASE DON’T FORGET THIS —> Brush your teeth or freshen up your breath before visiting your doctor. I’m positive no one wants to smell morning breath. YUK!
Disclosure: These tips are my own personal opinions.