Key Questions About Your Care

by Penny Simkin

Answers to the following questions will help you participate in your care responsibly and help you know what to expect:

When a Test is Suggested:

What is the reason for it? What problem are we looking for?
What will it tell us? How accurate or reliable are the results?
If the test detects a problem, what will happen next?
If the test does not detect a problem, what will happen next?
When a Treatment or Intervention is Suggested:

What is the problem? Why is it a problem? How serious is it? How urgent is it that we begin treatment?
Describe the treatment: How is it done? How likely is it to detect or solve the problem?
If it does not succeed what are the next steps?
Are there risks or side-effects to the treatment?
Are there any alternatives? (including waiting or doing nothing?)
Ask questions 2, 3, and 4 about any alternatives.
In an emergency it may be impossible to fully explore these questions. Your caregiver should tell you how serious and urgent the situation is.