Doctor appointments are always dreaded for a number of reasons. One of the primary deterrents why patients dislike seeing the doctor is the waiting time. It can be extremely inconvenient if you have to take time out of your busy schedule to schedule an appointment with your doctor only to be asked to wait hours for a 15-minute check-up.
Is there a way to hack the system and get an appointment quickly the day that you need it? Here are some ways you can improve your experience of scheduling an appointment with your doctor.
Follow the clinic’s protocol
Learning how your clinic manages appointments is one of the best ways to improve your experience. Check what their preferred method for booking appointments is. Does your clinic offer online bookings? Do you have to phone in order to get scheduled for quick doctors appointments? Following the correct procedure instead of ignoring the necessary steps can often lead to better results.
This may not always be applicable, but in certain instances, walking-in can get you in and out of the clinic within a shorter amount of time. Of course, you need to make sure that you go in as early as possible to be ahead of the waiting list.
Choose the best day
Unless you really need to see a doctor for an emergency consultation, it is better to schedule your visit on days where there are fewer patients. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Wednesdays are often the least busy days of the week.
Dealing with receptionists requires a lot of patience. If you want them to entertain your request and help you get your preferred time slot for an appointment, you have to be patient and courteous. Patience will go a long way instead of showing aggression and using improper language.
Be sure to turn up
Once you have secured an appointment, be sure to turn up as expected. Remember that the NHS is billed for each appointment regardless if you turn up or not. Be considerate enough to cancel the appointment if certain circumstances prevent you from honouring it. In addition to respecting the time of the doctor, you are also giving a chance to other patients who may be waiting for their chance to get a check-up.
Have a contingency plan
If you have a preferred GP and the doctor happens to be popular, you are decreasing your chances of securing an appointment. As much as possible, you should be ready to see a different doctor who may be available instead of the one you prefer.
Answer questions before the appointment
When you call in to set an appointment with your doctor, the receptionist is going to start asking some basic questions. Being clear and specific about your condition will help the receptionist look for a matching specialist for you. This will save you time in having multiple visits to other specialists if you need other tests done. Sharing sufficient information is enough to make the process easier for both you and the receptionist.