In general, prior to the nephrologist consultation, it helps to prepare in order to ask questions and clear up any uncertainties.
We have listed some tips for you that may help.
Making an appointment
A nephrologist is a specialist and as such it could take some time to secure an appointment. In urgent cases you may need to visit the emergency room or call an ambulance to support you.
Some physicians now offer the option of making an appointment online, in addition to making a telephonic appointment by phone. By using the online appointment option, you can avoid a delay in waiting to speak to someone using the telephonic option.
Your appointments should be cancelled ahead of time if they cannot be kept. This would give other patients the chance of an earlier appointment.
Arrive at the practice before your scheduled time of appointment (about 10-15 minutes) to avoid a stressed start to the conversation with the physician and to be more balanced.
Some physicians have a website where you can find out what you should bring or how to prepare for your first visit. A current medication schedule, previous findings, or a bullet-point list of the course of the disease, operations performed, or existing allergies can prevent you from forgetting anything during the consultation. You may prepare a folder to keep this information all together. Some centers ask you to bring a urine sample. Consider everything that will make the visit easier, such as reading glasses, a book, etc. to help shorten the waiting time.
Several visits to the nephrologist are necessary to get a comprehensive picture of the patient's health condition and to take appropriate therapeutic measures. Take notes during the conversation! This will prevent you from forgetting anything important and help you to reflect on the topics discussed afterwards.
Take a little time to digest everything you’ve learned. It may be difficult to learn many things that you never knew before. Did you understand everything the physician explained to you? Are there any open questions? What is bothering you the most? What should be clarified at the next appointment?
Remember: The nephrologist wants to take care of you the best they can. This also includes informing the patient about the possible therapy options. Do not be afraid to ask questions if you have problems understanding certain topics! This will also make the physician understand you better.
Personal patient diary
It may help to keep a patient diary together with a relative / friend. In this diary, you can write down appointments with the physician and take notes on the following questions, for example:
- When was the appointment?
- With which physician?
- What was it about?
- What were the physician's recommendations?
- What are my tasks (e.g., collection of prescribed medication at the pharmacy, making a new appointment, collecting a 24-hour urine sample, etc.)?
- When is the next appointment?
- Have I forgotten anything (to be clarified at the next appointment)?
Such a diary can help you and your relative/friend to keep track of everything. A fixed structure can help some people to feel more secure.
Learn more about different therapy options in the next section