Feb 09 2016

Heart Health Month-Seeing the Cardiologist

Since February is National Heart Month, we think it is a good time to discuss what you should know when visiting your cardiologist.
Say that at your last physical you were referred to a cardiologist. What happens next?
Visiting your cardiologist can be stressful, and a lot of the time we forget everything we want to know. Here are some tips to help you prepare.


BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT
  • Get copies of previous test results and medical records to bring with you.
  • Keep a journal of any signs and symptoms, when they occur and what makes them worse or better. (shortness of breath at night, chest pain during activity etc)
  • Write down your family history. Include heart-related history (stroke, Atrial-fibrilation etc) as well as history that may not seem related (diabetes, sleep apnea)
  •  Gather a list of medications, including any vitamins or supplements. Take over-the-counter pain reliever regularly? Write it down!
  • Write down ANY questions you have. That way you and your provider can both walk away confident that you're getting what you need. 
WHAT TO BRING
  • Any of the above items, plus a notebook and pen to take notes. Don't be afraid to ask for clarification!
  • Bring someone with you, its best to have a second set of ears to help you remember everything. 
AFTER YOUR APPOINTMENT
Make sure you find out how often you need to follow up with your doctor. Also be sure you have a number to call if you have any questions once you get home. If you feel your current therapies are not working, consult your doctor. It may take different treatments to achieve a certain goal. 

Happy Heart Health Month!
Sandy Greeson

Ergonomic Assessment Specialist, Essential Functions Evaluator, & Certifed Clinical Instructor