Who Is Responsible For Your Health Care?

You and Your Health Care Team Each Have a Role to Play

by Sharon T. Hinton

Your health care is more than following a doctor’s orders! It takes the collaboration of you and your entire health care team to make sure you receive the best care possible.

What Patients Can Do:

As a patient, it’s important to be as informed as possible about your own health. Patients can help assist the health care process by:

  • Asking questions, getting a second opinion when one is desired and explore treatment options.
  • Answering honestly. Health care providers need to know the whole story, even if it’s painful or embarrassing.
  • Being safe with medications, following all the directions and not sharing medications, and bringing a list of any medicines, vitamins, herbs, teas and other supplements to your appointment.
  • Being both smart and patient. Don’t hesitate to seek help, but also try to remember that good health care can sometimes move slowly.

What Nurses Can Do

Nurses are at the front lines of health care and can be supportive to the patients, their families and the doctor by:

  • Creating an open environment that allows patients to discuss why they are seeking treatment.
  • Advocating for the patient’s care when working with other medical providers.
  • Providing direct care, treatment, follow-up and additional care as needed.
  • Explaining treatments in non-medical language, answer any questions, and walk the patient through the maze of health care.

What Doctors Can Do

Medical doctors have a wealth of knowledge and training at their disposal to provide the best possible care for their patients in these ways:

  • Diagnosing and treating illness and injury.
  • Answering any questions and concerns when asked.
  • Coordinating and following up for the patient’s care.
  • Reading, studying, and conferring with other health care professionals.
  • Bringing in other specialists as needed.

Download the Who is Responsible for Your Health Care flyer here>>


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