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The Doctor Works for You

As a resident living in a nursing home, it is sometimes easy to feel intimidated when the doctor makes his rounds.  The doctor usually has many residents to see, yet, a limited time to do so.  The visits are frequently very brief and may only occur every one to three months. Furthermore, it may be in a less than private setting, for example at the nurse’s station, in the dining room or even during an activity!  This is when you, the resident or the family members need to become proactive so you have a good understanding about health care issues.  Be prepared for the visit! As a family member, ask the staff when they expect the doctor and plan to be there, if possible.  You may also request that the doctor call you. Keep an ongoing list of questions or concerns (the back of your tissue box may work well, for the resident).  Don’t be  embarrassed about asking the doctor to explain terms you do not understand. You may also expect and request that the doctor perform his assessment in the privacy of your own room. You have the right to know the results of tests or to see your records (the facility may have protocols to follow).  Most importantly, remember, the doctor is working for you!