It is natural for people to feel nervous when they go to the doctor or dentist because they are uncertain of what will happen while they are there. This is especially true when they have not visited a doctor recently or are about to receive a new treatment. However, giving into this fear is counterproductive. It could actually hinder you from seeking time sensitive medical care. Fear of what the medical professional may do or say is far less devastating then the regret of not acting on your health issues in a timely manner. Fortunately, there are several techniques that you can use to help alleviate your fear of medical facilities.
1) Talk to Your Doctor – The idea of telling your doctor that you have a phobia about going to a medical facility might seem ridiculous to some, but it is actually a good way to help you overcome your fear. After all, once your doctor understands the problem, they will have the opportunity to help you build confidence throughout each appointment.
You will be allowed to ask questions during each visit. Utilize that opportunity to get a clear understanding of what to expect during your visit. It is a good idea to ask your doctor to give you a verbal confirmation of the steps that will take place so that you can mentally prepare yourself for what is about to happen. Keep in mind that doctors deal with fearful patients on a regular basis, so they have a firm understanding of your problem, and they also have a vested interest in helping you surpass it.
2) Take Someone with You – Simply having someone at your side for support should make the entire process much easier. Even if you continue to feel a high level of anxiety, you are still more likely to go through with your appointment; because, there will be another person around to help hold you accountable for facing your fears and provide encouragement.
A lot of people will scoff at this idea since they relate it to be childishly needing someone to “hold their hand.” On the contrary, you are never too old or mature to want support for something that is troubling you. Admitting to your fears and having the bravery to conquer it is far more mature then pretending that the fear does not exist. After all, we are all afraid of something.
3) Turn off the Negative TV Shows – Although many TV doctors are presented in a positive light, there have still been plenty of medical professionals depicted in movies and television shows that could easily give people misconceptions about them. For example, the character of Leo Spaceman on “30 Rock” is such an awful doctor that he is funny. But, watching shows like this could make some people feel more intimidated by the idea of visiting a medical facility.
4) Look for Online Reviews – One of the main reasons that people are afraid of a new healthcare professional is that they do not feel confident in the level of care that they are going to receive. There are medical horror stories constantly flooding the media. So, it is common to be skeptical about a new facility. You can help combat this fear by looking at online reviews. If you have a primary facility already, it is still good practice to research other patient’s experiences.
Even if your doctor has good reviews, there is nothing wrong with being cautious and taking that extra measure to feel safe. This will build your confidence in the quality of healthcare you are receiving. If per chance, you find several negative reviews this process can help you select a new primary care physician. Chances are you will have a successful routine visit and realize that your fears were for naught.
5) Have a contingency plan – Keep in mind that if for some reason the visit makes you too uncomfortable it may be legitimate. Sometimes, people feel as if their healthcare professionals could have done more or have done things differently to treat them. All doctors have procedures to follow and there are often different treatments for the same issue. Each doctor has his own preferences of treatment plans. So, do not panic when your doctor decides to take a different course of action for the same ailment.
However, if you truly feel that the medical facility has deviated from normal treatment, seek assistance immediately from malpractice attorneys such as Bottar Leone, PLLC. They can help you determine whether you were treated within procedure protocol or if some sort of improper deviation has occurred. Also, get a second opinion from another healthcare professional.
Ultimately, it is up to you to take the necessary steps to combat your fears. You can put your phobia aside in a much easier and healthier way. Additionally, you should consider reading positive articles about the medical profession instead of focusing on everything negative that is reported by your local news.