10 tips to get ready
It may seem a little unnecessary, but taking just a few minutes to prepare for your appointment can be really helpful, particularly if you are feeling nervous or anxious. These tips will help you feel in control and get the most out of the limited time you may have with your doctor:
1. Have a clear goal
Think about what you are aiming to get out of the appointment. Perhaps you feel your treatment isn’t working and you want to discuss other options. Or maybe you’re concerned about side effects or you’ve simply been feeling down. Whatever’s worrying you, you’ll get much more out of your appointment if you have a clear goal in mind.
2. Write down your questions
Before your consultation, think of all the questions you want to ask and write them down. This helps ensure that you don't forget any important questions or concerns that you might have.
Writing down any changes, noting when flare ups occur and whether you've noticed anything that might make your psoriasis worse are all important pieces of information that may be useful to your doctor.
3. Be informed about psoriasis
Simply knowing a bit about psoriasis will help you understand what your doctor’s talking about, so reading up before your appointment can really help. Bear in mind, though, that not all information on the internet is correct, so double check with your doctor.
4. Make a list of your medications
Make a list of any medications that you are taking or using, including any over-the-counter medicines and supplements. Your doctor is likely to ask, so it’s good to have a complete list ready.
5. Keep a symptoms diary
Get in the habit of writing down any symptoms you have and how you have been feeling in general. Noting when flare-ups occur and whether you’ve noticed anything that might make your psoriasis worse are important pieces of information that may be useful to your doctor.
6. Ask for an extended appointment if necessary
If you have lots of questions and are worried that there won’t be enough time to discuss everything, or you will be too rushed, you might want to ask the receptionist to book an extended appointment.
7. Ask a friend or relative to go with you
If you’re feeling nervous that you might forget what was said or need emotional support, it’s fine to bring a friend or relative with you. They can help remind you of any information that might slip your mind.
8. Dress appropriately
Your doctor may need to examine your psoriasis, so think about the clothes that you'll wear to your appointment. It's best to choose clothes that are loose and easy to slip off. Avoid long rows of buttons!
9. Rehearse your appointment
If you feel nervous about your appointment, you can practice what you want to say in advance – this will help build your confidence. You can even role-play the appointment, asking a close friend or family member to play the role of your doctor.
10. Take a notebook and pen
It's a good idea to take a notebook and pen so you can keep a record of the doctor's answers to your questions.
The way that you prepare for your appointment will depend on you and your personal situation. Hopefully some of these tips inspire you to think about how you can get ready and make the most of your consultations.
UK/IE 2013b/00073, Date of prep: April 2015