#TryItTuesday: Checkup Checklist
Getting checkups is one of many things you can do to stay healthy and prevent disease and disability.
You’ve made the appointment to see your health care provider. You’ve reviewed the instructions on how to prepare for certain tests. You’ve done the usual paperwork. Done, right? Not quite.
Prepare for your checkup by doing these six things.
Bring your insurance card, photo identification, completed forms and your co-pay to your appointment.
Bring an up-to-date list of medications, including dose and frequency. It is important that your health care provider is aware of all prescriptions and over-the-counter medications you are taking. Also, include any herbals or supplements that you take.
Review Your Family Health History
Are there any new conditions or diseases that have occurred in your close relatives since your last visit? If so, let your health care provider know. Family history might influence your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes or cancer. Your provider will assess your risk of disease based on your family history and other factors. Your provider may also recommend things you can do to help prevent disease, such as exercising more, changing your diet, or getting screening tests to help detect disease early.
Check Dates For Upcoming Screenings or Vaccinations
Have you had the recommended screening tests based on your age, general health, family history and lifestyle? Check with your health care provider to see if it’s time for any vaccinations, follow-up exams, or tests. For example, it might be time for you to get a Pap test, mammogram, prostate cancer screening, colon cancer screening, sexually transmitted disease screening, blood pressure check, tetanus shot, eye check, or other screening.
Review Any Existing Problems, Note Changes
- Have you noticed any body changes, including lumps or skin changes?
- Are you having pain, dizziness, fatigue, problems with urine or stool, or menstrual cycle changes?
- Have your eating habits changed?
- Are you experiencing depression, anxiety, trauma, distress or sleeping problems?
- If so, note when the change began, how it’s different from before, and any other observation that you think might be helpful.
Be Honest With Your Provider
If you haven’t been exercising as much, taking your medication as directed, or anything else, say so. You may be at risk for certain diseases and conditions because of how you live, work and play. Your provider develops a plan based partly on what you say you do. Help ensure that you get the best guidance by providing the most up-to-date and accurate information about you.
Be sure to write your questions down beforehand. Once you’re in the office or exam room, it can be hard to remember everything you want to know. Leave room between questions to write down your provider’s answers.
Look Toward the Future
Are there specific health issues that need addressing concerning your future? Are you thinking about losing weight, taking a hazardous job, or quitting smoking? Discuss any issues with your provider so that you can make better decisions regarding your health and safety.
Remember, health care providers are your partner in your health care and their purpose is to help you stay healthy. They can provide better care if you talk with them about your health and well-being and share any questions or concerns you have.
If your provider says something you don’t understand, speak up!