If you schedule an appointment with an ear, nose and throat professional (ENT), chances are you’re suffering from an ailment. When dealing with a health problem, it’s easy to be overwhelmed, stressed and forgetful. That’s why it is best to be organized and prepared for your time with the hearing care professional. The following tips will help you get the most from your ENT visit.

Before the ENT visit

Preparation is one of the best ways to get the most out of your visit. The following tips can be completed before your appointment:

Write it down- Take a notebook or folder and write down all the questions you want to ask your ENT. In addition, take a moment to think about your symptoms, when you first noticed them, how long they last and if they come and go. This will help you better answer your ENT’s questions. Also, make a note of significant events in your medical history, including dates, treatments and outcome.

Make a list- In the same folder or notebook, make a list of any medications or supplements you currently take, including:

  • Prescribed medications
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Herbal supplements
  • Vitamins

Find a friend- It helps to have a close friend or family member accompany you to the appointment. An extra person can help you pass time in the waiting room, take notes and make sure you ask all the questions and concerns you might have.

The day of your ENT visit

The day of the visit, make sure to arrive in plenty of time with your information and questions readily available. If it is your first visit, you will need to complete medical history and forms. If you prefer, you can download and complete our registration packet before your visit.

Bring something to occupy your time while you wait. If your hands or thoughts are engaged, you are less likely to be stressed or anxious about the visit.

During your ENT appointment

Make sure to have your folder with questions or concerns ready to go in the examination or consultation room. It’s OK to be assertive if necessary. If you don’t understand a medical term, don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for an explanation. If pictures help you understand things better, ask for an image or diagram.

Repeating is a great way to remember key points. When the ENT makes a pertinent statement, repeat it back to them. If for any reason the ENT gets called out of the room, when they re-enter, repeat what they said before they left. This strategy works great for the ENT and for you.

Before you leave

Before you leave, make sure all questions have been answered. If you need follow-up care at home, make sure you fully understand the protocol or have been provided a sheet with written instructions.

If you were prescribed a medication, make sure you have the prescription; you understand the dosing requirements and are aware of possible side effects. Also make sure you know when to call the ENT should a problem arise.

If you need a follow-up visit, make the appointment before you leave and mark it in your calendar, on your cell phone or ask for a card from the receptionist.

Many office visits last only 10-15 minutes. If you are prepared, you can get the most out of the time spent with your ENT.