March 12, 2018

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Receiving bad news is never easy, especially when talking about the health of a loved one or yourself. In times like these, studies show that it is very difficult for patients and their families to remember everything they are told during their appointments. With that in mind, we wanted to provide you with some questions that may be helpful when asking your doctor about care options after your diagnosis.

General Palliative Care Questions

  • What is palliative care and how does it differ from other care services I receive?
  • Does palliative care replace my other doctors?
  • What if I don’t want or need some part of the palliative care team? Can I choose who I see?
  • Do I receive palliative care at home or in the hospital or both?
  • If I receive palliative care and then do better, do they leave me or can I keep receiving it?
  • What is the cost involved with seeing the palliative care team?
  • How can I contact the palliative care team?
  • How often can I contact them?
  • Is the palliative care service available after hours or in emergencies?
  • Are there booklets about palliative care that I can share with my family?
  • What are the other treatments or help I can receive through palliative care?
  • What is the difference between hospice care and palliative care?

The Palliative Care Team & Other Physicians

  • Does the palliative care team speak with or send info to other physicians so they know what’s going on with my health?
  • Does my other physician just leave my case now that I receive palliative care? What if I want him/her to stay with me, too?
  • Which of my health professionals should I contact first if I am unwell or if there is an emergency?
  • Who will see me on a regular basis from now on?
  • Can you help me decide or decipher information given to me by other physicians, like my oncologist?
  • Is there anyone on the palliative care team that can help me cope with day-to-day responsibilities?
  • Can I choose what palliative care team cares for me?