Questions to ask Healthcare Providers
Answers by healthcare professionals to the following questions can assist cancer patients and their caregivers develop a better understanding of the disease and the treatment options available. Select the questions which best suit the individual need.
General Medical Care
- What is this illness called?
- How do you want to treat this illness?
- What are other ways to treat this illness?
- What are the risks with these treatments?
- What is the likely future of this illness with the recommended treatment?
- Without the recommended treatment?
- What is the time frame for the treatment?
- Is a hospital stay necessary?
- What is the expected recovery time?
- What lifestyle changes may be expected in the future?
Medical Tests & Procedures
- Is the recommended test or procedure necessary to confirm or disprove a diagnosis?
- Will the findings of the test change the way the disease is managed?
- What are the risks involved?
- What happens if the patient refuses to undergo this test?
- How expensive is the test and will it be covered by medical aid?
- Will the test require a change in any of the medications the patient is taking?
- What is the test procedure?
- How will the test feel? Will it be painful?
- How should the patient prepare for this test?
- Will the patient need help getting home afterwards?
- Who will interpret the test results?
- Will someone call with the test results or should I phone for them?
How the Doctor’s Office Works
- What days/hours is the office open?
- How are medical emergencies handled?
- When is the best time to reach the doctor by phone, fax or email?
- Which method of communication does the doctor prefer?
- Who can answer questions if the doctor is not available?
- Who can I call after hours or when the doctor is away?
Source: National Family Caregivers Association http://www.strengthforcaring.com