Dreading a Doctor Visit? Five Tips to Overcome Nerves

2016-05-18_3If you get butterflies in your stomach thinking about a trip to the doctor, you’re not alone. While many adults may not admit they feel nervous or embarrassed when it comes to healthcare appointments, the phenomenon is actually common. Many people worry about a bad test result or pain associated with a procedure. Others may be embarrassed to discuss certain health topics or be afraid the doctor will lecture them on the repercussions of unhealthy behavior.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to overcome your anxiety. Many of these tips will not only calm your nerves, but also help improve communication with your doctor, ultimately improving your health.

Make a List – Make a list of any questions you may have the day before your doctor visit. Remember that no health topic is off the list, and you can be assured your doctor has seen the same issue before with other patients. Your primary care doctor is trained to get a comprehensive picture of your health and address all of your concerns.

Invite a Friend or Relative – Taking a trusted relative or close friend with you to your visit may help ease any fears. They can even sit with you in the exam room if you choose and act as an extra set of ears to take in recommendations or information. This is especially helpful if nerves are keeping you from fully focusing during your talk with the doctor.

Ease the Wait Time – Waiting can leave time for anxious thoughts to escalate. Plan to bring something you enjoy doing to occupy yourself while you’re in the waiting room. This could be a game on your phone, earphones to listen to music, or a crossword puzzle.

Banish the Unknown With Facts – If your doctor recommends a test or procedure, ask them to describe what you can expect. In addition to understanding the test itself, ask about anything you need to do ahead of time, such as fasting. It’s also helpful to know how long the test or procedure may last.

Request Clarity – If you don’t understand something your doctor says, be sure and ask for clarification. You should feel like you have a thorough understanding of your diagnosis, treatment plan, and any next steps.

Get to Know Your Doctor Better with a Check Up

Scheduling annual checkups will help you get to know your doctor better so that you will feel more comfortable with appointments. Check ups provide a time to communicate with your healthcare team when you are well and not under the stress of an illness or injury.  

The doctors at LeBauer HealthCare are dedicated to building doctor-patient relationships that foster two-way communication. If you are looking for a primary care physician, need to discuss a health concern, or due for an annual physical, Make an Appointment at one of our six convenient primary care offices to schedule a checkup today.

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