What type of patient are you?

Healthcare professionals have to deal with all sorts of reactions when dealing with their patients. When it comes time to follow a course of treatment or take medication, are you the reticent, insistent or nonchalant type?

The reticent type

Some people are reluctant to take medication, for various reasons. They may have previously experienced serious adverse effects after taking medication and are now scared to take any. Others don’t like the idea of ingesting chemicals. Reticent patients may never go to the pharmacy to get a doctor’s prescription filled, even if they need the treatment.

The insistent type

Other patients are quite the opposite. They insist on getting a treatment, even when the doctor doesn’t deem it necessary. Asking for antibiotics for a cold is a good example. Even though these infections are caused by a virus, some patients still insist that their doctor give them a prescription for antibiotics. However, these drugs have no effect on a virus, since they only kill bacteria.

The nonchalant type

Most patients tend to fall in this category. They accept the treatment proposed by their doctor, go get the prescription filled at the pharmacy, and then take it more or less as directed. They may skip a dose on occasion. They may take it with food instead of on an empty stomach, or they may stop taking it before they are finished the course of treatment. They don’t follow the other recommendations made by their doctor, such as dietary changes.

What should you do?

If you are the reticent type, it’s important for you to take the time to discuss your options with your doctor and pharmacist. Ask questions, and discuss your expectations and concerns. If you don’t share your doubts with your healthcare team, they won’t be able to find a solution that would benefit you.

If you are the insistent type, you may have the impression that your doctor isn’t doing enough to heal you. You should also ask questions, so that you can understand why your doctor feels a test or medication isn’t necessary. Sometimes, a treatment can carry more risks than benefits…

If you are the nonchalant type, you should be more careful about following your treatment to make sure you get the full benefits of your treatment. If you need help or have concerns, talk to your pharmacist.

If you need to take medication, don’t be a passive spectator. Become an active participant in your healthcare team: ask questions and share your concerns, fears and expectations. This is your duty as a patient!

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