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A registered nurse offers advice on getting the best possible medical care

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"How to Be a Patient" by Sana Goldberg
"How to Be a Patient" by Sana Goldberg
Courtesy of publisher

At one point or another, most of us will end up in the hospital.

Do you know how to ensure that you get the best possible care?

Sana Goldberg, a registered nurse, offers some advice in her new book “How to Be a Patient.”

She joined MPR News host Kerri Miller to share some tips.

1) Write down a list of questions before your appointment

This is a good way to ensure that all of your concerns are covered. Ask as many follow-up questions as you need to feel comfortable with your care plan.

2) Try rephrasing your questions if you’re unsatisfied with the answers

Goldberg says that often the key to understanding what a treatment might do is to ask what would happen if you did nothing. Learning what happens without the treatment helps patients decide whether they can live with the outcome.

3) Bring someone with you to your appointments

Find someone whom you trust, and share your medical history and concerns with that person. Having a familiar person in the room will help put you at ease and add another advocate to the discussion.

4) Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion

Goldberg says that sometimes people shy away from seeking a second opinion because they don’t want to offend a health care provider. But she says most physicians will understand, because they would seek the same standard of care for themselves and their own families.

Click the audio player above to hear the full conversation. 

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