Celebrating Community Health and Wellbeing Week
NorWest Community Health Centres is a primary health care organization which operates within a community development framework by building upon and strengthening the local community. NorWest provides a continuum of integrated services that improve the health and wellbeing of people. We provide holistic, integrated and comprehensive health care.
We work to improve the health of people through the provision of primary health care, prevention of illnesses, and the promotion of health, such that people: have improved access to integrated primary health care; receive appropriate treatment to address their primary health care needs; are better able to assume responsibility for their own health care; have increased understanding of the factors affecting their health and how these can be prevented, addressed and overcome.
We build the capacity of the local community through community leadership, advocacy, integration and partnerships. We establish community partnerships to enhance and strengthen our work and the community’s ability to address health care needs.
Our inter professional team will work with clients to not only treat the illness or condition but provide information and resources that will allow clients to self-manage their condition. Our multidisciplinary team ensures that clients have access to the most appropriate health care provider.
We make special efforts to serve people who have a higher risk of poor health, or people who are having difficulty finding health care because of language, cultural barriers, poverty or isolation. We consider the social, emotional and financial needs of our clients, since these factors affect a person's overall health.
As part of a network of over 100 health care organisations, NorWest is celebrating Community Health and Wellbeing Week from October 22 to 28, 2018. This week, we have a gift for you – some suggestions on how to prepare for your next appointment with your healthcare provider.
A research project of The Right Conversation at the Right Time conducted an analysis of hundreds of hours of recorded conversations between providers and patients. From this research, an Appointment Guide was produced. This tool helps you understand the “etiquette” of an appointment with you healthcare provider. It also helps you prepare for the appointment to be able to articulate your expectations, which leads to a more focussed conversation. The Appointment Guide suggests the following points:
- Say why you have come to the appointment
- Say what you expect or want from the appointment
- Say what you think is going on
The Appointment Guide suggests writing notes during the appointment to remember the suggestions made by your healthcare provider. Your provider may also have notes for you to take home, or have some written instructions on how to take care of yourself.
You may decide to prepare yourself by making notes. The Appointment Guide has note sections beside the three points mentioned above. Take these notes out so both you and your provider see them.
The Appointment Guide also suggests that you agree to a plan of action with your provider on what to do if things don’t go as expected. For example, what should you do if your symptoms worsen, if you have side effects from your medications, when you should return to the health care provider or go to the emergency department. This will help you be clear on what should happen next.
Your provider will most likely think it is a good idea for you to be prepared. You are also more likely to get what you need out of an appointment if you are prepared.
Anita Jean is Manager of Health and Social Programs at the NorWest Community Health Centres.
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