Three Tips on Communicating with Health Care Professionals

Patients and the families can be intimidated when they’re meeting with health care professionals.  There’s the sense that doctors, nurses and other providers are too busy to have meaningful conversations, or that they always know best because of their training.   Here are three tips on how to get the most out of those encounters.

·         Be clear and concise:  Write down your questions and concerns in order of importance and bring to your appointment.

·         Keep detailed records:  This includes things such as eating and sleeping patterns, pain and other symptoms, emotional episodes, medication, and any observations of changes since the last appointment.

·         Speak up:  Never assume others know what you want, or don’t want.   Many health professionals believe in “patient-centred care”, and that means patients’ views are not only appropriate, they’re welcomed.

Need more information on who to ask for services for an aging parent, or tips on how to communicate with a loved one about their care options?   Or maybe you could use a few reassuring words to help manage the physical and emotional aspects of caring for others.

That’s when you should Ask Elizabeth, a free service offered by Saint Elizabeth Health Care.  Anyone can call 1-855-Ask-Eliz (275-3549) or chat online through our web site (, to connect with a qualified health professional and gain confidential and practical information.

Ask Elizabeth is part of Saint Elizabeth’s Aging Well @ Home Institute, which draws on the wealth of our experience in research, education, innovation and caregiving support.   At Saint Elizabeth, we are constantly striving to make health better, especially for seniors.