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Talking with your healthcare team

We encourage all patients, their family and carers to talk openly with their health care team about their condition, health and medication history and options for treatment. You should feel comfortable to ask any questions and raise any concerns you may have.

Your health care team includes anyone at St Vincent's taking care of you: nurses, doctors, therapists, social workers and any other staff member who helps you.

Tips for talking to your health care team

To help you get the right information and understand more about your condition and care plan when you talk with members of your health care team:

  • ask a friend, partner or a relative to be with you for support, to take notes or participate in the conversation
  • write down questions as you think of them to prepare for the appointment or visit
  • ask staff members to explain something in a different way if you don't understand
  • tell staff if you are tired and need to resume the discussion later
  • let the staff know if you would like more privacy tell staff if you think you need more information. Make a specific request, e.g.: "How can I get more information about this?"
  • ask if there are other options in the plan for your care

It is OK to tell your health care team you want to get a second opinion.

Understanding your care

At the end of the conversation, you should understand:

  • what is the next step
  • who will give you your test results and 
  • when is the next appointment or meeting
  • what questions still need an answer
  • who you can call if you have more questions or information to share
  • what is the best way to reach that person.