Consulting with an after hours doctor can be a great benefit for members of the community who struggle to visit their general practitioner on location.
Whether that is due to mobility issues, time constraints or for pure convenience where age and ailments make the travel a difficult exercise, these professionals are on hand to service people in their own environment.
Yet many individuals end up wasting valuable time with these skilled and experienced operators, relying on the intuition of the doctor instead of posing questions that could lead to be a better and healthier outcome.
Here we will examine what questions can be asked of these operators, giving the patient more direct information that can be utilised for treatment or techniques that alleviate pain.
Are There Treatments That Must Be Done During Regular Hours?
For those individuals who continue to book their trusted after hours doctor for checkups and visitations on known ailments, that is acceptable if the professional is happy to continue that pattern. Yet there are likely to be certain treatments for some conditions that will warrant a consultation on site at the practice. This is where the appropriate medical equipment and supporting resources will be found and it is not feasible to take this to a person’s home premises. By asking them what will necessitate a visit away from home, that will inform all parties on where the line is.
Does My Current Situation Pay For Regular After Hours Care?
There will be operators who leave their practice open for their after hours doctor to be of service, but that can carry additional costs. This is especially the case with professionals who undertake home visits after 6pm and before 8am in the morning. To subsidise this type of care, citizens need to be aware of their private health insurance and Medicare status, ensuring that they are not paying hefty fees that could easily be avoided with a moment of clarity.
What Should Happen During an Emergency Situation?
The average patient will not be needing to see an after hours doctor, as they will likely book a visitation with their GP at their practice or during those extreme situations, they will visit an emergency room at the nearest hospital. In the event that there is an emergency with an internal issue, organ failure, a severe muscle tear or a respiratory problem where basic breathing is a causing distress, it is vital that the individual speaks with their specialist to know what to do. These moments can strike at the most inopportune of times, so people have to take proactive action to understand what strategy to take.
Can I Have a Formal Written Letter/Document Outlining My Ailments and Medicine/Treatment Needs?
There will be situations whereby a patient who is in need of an after hours doctor will be elderly or their lack of mobility will cause issues down the line. To avoid these circumstances from spiraling out of control, it is paramount that they have on hand documentation and written proof of what the ailment is, what treatments are required or available, and the contact information for the professional and emergency lines. This is often seen with communities who are situated in isolated rural areas, allowing citizens to access on site care and having those details on hand if a new practitioner has arrived to treat the symptoms. All operators in this field will create their own records to keep for each patient, but it is valuable to have tangible copies of the necessary details on hand.
The important practice that individuals should adhere to is enjoying an open and honest dialogue with their after hours doctor irrespective of the circumstances. Sitting down and talking with them about these issues rather than leaving it to guesswork or assumption can be dangerous.