Thereís a cure at the end of the rainbow!

Healthcare management is extremely important in todayís world. The more information you have, the better you can participate in managing your healthcare, your patient, your environment, your life. Research shows that effective, knowledgeable participation in your healthcare produces better outcome, faster. The books in the reading room are suggestions. We do not independently review every one. Please share your reviews of the books you read with us, on our contact form. If you have suggestions for inclusion, please send them. AMSAD receives a contribution from each book purchased through our site.

Step 1: Get informed! If you as a parent know what healthcare providers are taught, you will be able to participate in ensuring the best care for your child. Learn the terminology that your providers are most comfortable with, and use it appropriately. Understanding their processes can help you ensure those processes work for you and your family. Healthcare providers nationwide are short-staffed, overworked, and always out of time. As we have discussed on this site, most physicians' diagnosis is guided by the history and symptoms actually reported by the patient and / or family. Unless you and the doctor are "on the same page," errors will be made. Unreported symptoms and history do not make
it into the diagnostic process. Physicians are not supermen, with x-ray vision and telepathic powers.

Step 2: Get organized and document. If you donít write it down, you may forget something during the visit. We are not doctors, and we donít know what factors are important, so itís important to be thorough. Determine the symptoms, when the problem began, any abnormalities in behavior or sensory information, etc., and write them down in order. You may be able to organize them according to system or time, or severity, or some other method. Some of the books in the reading room can help you do this appropriately, because they tell you what and how doctors look at diagnostic factors. If pain is involved, use the 1 -10 scale, using specific examples of pain level 1 and pain level 10, to find out when the pain is at what level, if anything changes it, either for better or worse, if itís continuous or intermittent, throbbing, sharp, etc. If you are dealing with a child, use images and language the child can understand and relate to, like examples from the childís own history. For example, your childís splinter might be 1, and his broken arm might be 10. After you get the information from the child, tell it back
to make sure it's right -and ask, "Am I understanding you?" Include a list of the questions you want to ask the provider.

Step 3:
Communicate. Take your annotated list to the appointment, and go over it with the nurse and with the doctor. LEAVE a copy for the file. Your healthcare providers are short-staffed and out of time. Be comprehensive, but fast. MAKE NOTES on your own copy, and keep a file. Review that file when you are preparing to see your provider, so you can note recurrences and other pertinent information.

These books and others like them are important resources for parents and other family members, especially because of our overloaded healthcare system. If you canít afford to add them to your personal library, PLEASE contact your local public library and request that they purchase them and feature them. Knowledge is our biggest weapon in the fight to save lives.

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