What Language Are You Speaking? Medical Terminology, Of course!

When I go to the Apple Store and talk to the “geniuses” I feel as if they’re speaking another language.  As a matter of fact, they are!  What’s a girl to do but ASK!  So, I do. It’s unlikely I’ll ever be working in the Apple store or be totally computer literate, but at least by the time I leave, I have some clue as to what they’re talking about.

It’s the same in the doctor’s office for many people.  Healthcare professionals speak in medical terminology – the language they’ve learned in training.  It becomes so familiar to them that when they’re with patients they may forget that not everyone speaks that very same language.  Therefore, what’s a very smart patient to do – ASK!  And, not only ask your healthcare professional to repeat a diagnosis, but ask them to write it down for you on a piece of paper, a prescription pad, a text to you or on the patient portal, if there is one. Be sure you can read it and have some idea how to pronounce it.  When you leave the office you can then sit down with your computer or your dictionary and look it up.  That way you’ll have a better understanding of what your doc thinks is your problem and in the meantime, you can become more knowledgeable before you return to his/her office.  You’re now becoming a more active participant in your healthcare – yay!  If there are necessary tests or prescriptions written, please ask one more time for your doc to print those orders out as well.

One last thought to bear in mind.  Once you understand the possible diagnosis and tests required to finalize a diagnosis, don’t spend hours on the computer looking up all kinds of weird ailments.  That will only scare you unnecessarily and probably have nothing at all to do with what’s going on with your health.  Look up what you need to know about your health and then get off the net!

Keep asking for what you need for your healthcare.  Knowledge is power.

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