What do YOU want to ask the doctor?

Communication is a big part of what our team does: in the examination room, on the phone, through email–even with Facebook status updates and Twitter “tweets.” One of the resources I use to improve my communication skills is an email newsletter from speaker Meryl Runion. This week’s “Power Phrase” is one that all pet owners can and should remember: think of what questions you want to ask the doctor.

In the context of Meryl’s blog post, this power phrase was used by a mom to empower her young son to take responsibility for his own medical care and well-being by ensuring that communication with his doctor wasn’t a one-way street. While you can’t empower your furry kids to do the same, you CAN claim responsibility for your part of the veterinary-client-patient relationship by empowering yourself. Pet owners should never be reluctant to identify their needs, have opinions, and ask for what they want when it comes to veterinary care. By asking questions and providing accurate information about your pet’s health, you can help ensure the success of your veterinary visit, much like the boy in this story was able to do with his doctor.

Somewhat ironically, the other half of this week’s newsletter–the “Poison Phrase” of the week–was: you didn’t ask for a pain killer, a story about how–even though her surgery called for a pain killer every four hours–a patient wasn’t medicated for postoperative pain because she didn’t ask for it! Made me think about our patients and the fact that they can’t ask for a pain killer. That’s why comprehensive pain management is a required part of all potentially painful procedures at PPH!

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  1. Meryl Runion says:

    A Vital Smarts study shows that 77% of medical patients are cut off before they finish their opening statement. That suggests that patients – and probably pet owners – have received the message that their medical professionals don’t want them engaged. So those who do want engagement have to overcome years of programming that suggests otherwise.

    I applaud you for meeting that challenge and making it very clear that you invite any and all questions.

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