Talking to Your Health Care Team

Learn the names of the people who come to talk to you – each individual will start with a self-introduction and statement of his or her role. Different members of your care team focus on different things, so it is good to know who said what about your plan of care. Here are some suggestions to help you keep track:

  • Write down your questions or concerns as soon as you think of them.

  • Have a family member or friend with you who can help you during appointments to remember the answers to your questions. 

  • Have someone who can speak for you or ask questions when you feel too sick or are not up to it yourself.

  • Ask members of your health care team to explain any words or phrases you don't know, such as unfamiliar acronyms and phrases -- especially when they are speaking with each other. (Your nurse will likely be the best person to talk to about specific questions or concerns if you need more information.)

  • Every day is a new day. Ask your questions as often as you need to, even if you already asked them.

Your health care team may not know all the answers all the time. They are not avoiding answering your questions, but they may need more information before they can provide you with the most accurate answer. This may take some time.