6 Ways to Be Your Own Advocate in the Doctor’s Office (Part I)

woman speaking with doctor in doctor's office

A visit to your doctor’s office can produce a wide range of emotions, such as dread, anxiety, fear, or even embarrassment. Approach your next doctor’s appointment a little differently by thinking of yourself as an advocate for your own healthcare.

Do Your Research

The first step in advocating for your own healthcare is research! If you’re looking for a doctor, research doctors online, and read reviews about each office. Don’t overlook this important step! Read the reviews for each office to understand the experiences of other patients who have chosen a particular doctor. Consider what others have to say about the doctor or the office when making your decision. Research the types of treatment available to you so that you’re able to make an informed decision. If you’ve already chosen a particular doctor, think about your symptoms or the purpose of your visit. Your doctor is a professional, but the amount of information available on the Internet means that you can be well-informed before you schedule an appointment with your doctor. Bring information on symptoms you have, or treatments you’re interested in receiving, so that your doctor can review the best options with you. In short: Take an active role in partnering with your doctor to make decisions about your own medical treatment.

Request Your Medical Records

As a part of educating yourself on your own health, request your own medical records, and learn what is in your medical files. Not only does this help you educate yourself on your medical needs, it also helps you quickly provide information to your providers, who may or may not collaborate with one another to provide the best care for you. Deciphering medical information is not always easy, so click here to learn how to read your own medical file.

Keep a Log

Whether you are managing your weight, blood pressure, sugar levels, mood, sleep, or something else entirely, keeping a log between doctor’s visits can be a valuable tool when making treatment decisions. On the spot, you may not always remember things accurately, or you might over- or under-report information based on how you’re feeling on a particular day, or you might doubt yourself when asked follow-up questions. Arming yourself with a list of blood pressure readings or the hours you’re sleeping at night, provides concrete information to support your concerns, and gives you a way to track any healthcare changes that might occur. 

Write Your Questions Down

Along with doing the research, write down questions that you have as you think of them. Keep a running note on your cell phone so you can add to it whenever something comes to mind. Keeping a note in your phone means that you’re less likely to forget to bring it with you to your next doctor’s appointment!

Arrive Early

Many medical offices won’t see you if you arrive late for your appointment. Even if you are seen, you or your doctor may feel rushed, and you may not be able to discuss everything you want to talk about. If you’re serious about your health, and you’ve put in the work to prepare for the visit to your doctor, leave a few minutes early to make sure you get to the office on time. You won’t regret it.

Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

Hopefully, your doctor is thrilled by the information that you’ve collected, and the information that you’ve brought in, and partners with you to address your healthcare concerns. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Prepare what you would like to say in the event you feel as though you need to say more. Start small, like telling your doctor you don’t feel like your questions were answered, or that your concerns were fully addressed. In the event you’re still not satisfied, would you like to schedule an immediate follow-up appointment? Would you rather speak with a physician’s assistant or a nurse, who may have more time to spend with you? Would you like to request a referral to a specialist, or a referral to another medical professional for a second opinion? 

Ultimately, you are your biggest advocate when it comes to your health. Stay informed! For more information on healthcare topics that can help you become the best advocate you can possibly be for your own health, or the health of your family and friends, visit The Avidity Medical Design Blog.

How to Write a Great Resume if You Are New to Healthcare

woman holding resume with tablet in background
job search on online internet. applying for a job concept.

Writing a resume is an important part of the job search process. Your resume is your potential employer’s first chance to get to know you and to see whether you would be a good fit for their company. Many times, recruiters won’t spend more than a few minutes scanning over your resume, so it is important to make a good first impression. If you are new to the healthcare field, you are already at a disadvantage in relation to those who have previous experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be competitive. So what can do to make sure your resume stands out in the crowd?

Highlight Your Education

Often, your educational background is just as important as your work history. If you have a degree, make sure it is prominently listed on your resume. If your degree is in the healthcare field be sure to highlight it on your resume. If you don’t have a degree or your degree is in a field outside of healthcare, still list your degree because it highlights your versatility and makes you stand out from other candidates. Even though you may not get the position that you initially applied for, it increases the likelihood that you might be considered for other positions in the broader field of health information management, positions that may not yet have been posted on a job website or advertised in a newspaper.

If you have a degree in journalism, English, or instructional design, for example, you might be hired to design courses to train new healthcare employees or write job aids as continuing education tools for employees and contractors who are already working in the field. Don’t forget to include science classes, math classes, computer applications, and medical terminology classes as well. Remember that you can transfer what you learn in these types of classes, and you can transfer the skills that you acquire from using different types of computer applications to your new career in healthcare. Don’t worry if you have no previous schooling. There are many healthcare classes that you can take to enhance your resume, and increase the likelihood that you will stand out as a viable candidate when you apply for a position in healthcare. Avidity Medical Design Academy offers classes like medical terminology and medical coding that can be quickly and easily taken from the comfort of your home.

Showcase Your Skills

Your skills and experience are what make you a valuable employee. Highlight all of your skills throughout your resume, even skills that may not be directly related to the healthcare position that you are applying for, such as customer service, which shows you have good people skills, and shows that you can resolve potential communication conflicts in the healthcare setting. If you are an expert in certain computer applications, say so. If you were on a special committee, talk about what you did on the committee. Choose a layout for your resume that puts your skills, education, and experience in the best light, and helps you put your best foot forward. If you don’t have direct experience in healthcare, create a functional resume instead. A functional resume focuses on your skills and experience, rather than on your work history. Regardless of the type of resume that you choose, remember to list your skills in all sections of your resume, including your work history, educational background, and other sections of your resume.

Tip: Did you know that many large companies use a computer application to automatically scan resumes for certain keywords? This means if your resume is missing those keywords, it may not even be seen by human eyes. Scan each job listing that you apply for and find ways to include terms from the job listing on your resume. If you have dreamed about moving into the healthcare industry and working from home, now is the time. Visit Avidity Medical Design Academy to view our courses and see how we can help you find your dream job.

Ditch the Office Job — Work at Home in Healthcare

woman working on computer in home office

Are you a parent wanting to spend more time at home with your children? Do you have health problems that make keeping a typical 9-to-5 office job difficult? Or maybe you are tired of making that long commute to work every day or you’re sick of the office politics. There are many reasons why you might not want to work in a traditional office setting. Thankfully, now more than ever, there are a growing number of work-from-home options available. 

The healthcare industry provides many opportunities if you are interested in transitioning to your home office. But the field is very competitive. So how do you prepare yourself and become a standout candidate?

Emphasize Your Skills

Whether you are a stay-at-home parent or you are looking for a career change, you probably have more transferable skills than you realize. Think about the jobs you have done in the past. If you worked in an office setting you probably have extensive experience with computers, phones, and customer service. Maybe you were trained in SharePoint file management, computer database systems, or different word processing programs. These are valuable skills you can add to your resume. 

Don’t undervalue your skills if you are a stay-at-home parent. Think about your hobbies, volunteer positions, and any classes you may have taken. Were you the president of the PTA? You likely have experience fundraising, creating emails, and managing others. Did you supplement the family’s income with freelance writing? There are many writing positions in the healthcare field. It’s important that you emphasize all the skills you bring to the table, both on your resume and during your interview. 

Take a Class

You don’t have to get a degree to get a job in healthcare, but taking a class can help boost your skills, your resume, and your confidence. Avidity Medical Design Academy offers many classes, designed for people just like you. Our How to Make Money in Healthcare Working from Home (Full Time!) course is a great place to start. This course will teach you about 10 different healthcare careers that allow you to work from home full time, including jobs that offer full benefits, such as 401k, life insurance, and medical, dental, and vision benefits. You will learn about each career as well as the required skills, training, professional licenses, and certifications, how you make money, and how to get started right away, as soon as you finish the course. With each of the careers, you also get a real-world example, so that you can see what your typical day will be like if you chose to work from home in a particular area of healthcare. At the end of the course, you will be ready to take the steps you need to take in order to enter the world of healthcare. We also offer other courses to help you succeed, including medical coding and medical terminology. 

Visit Avidity Medical Design Academy to view our course offerings and find out more about how you can work from home in the healthcare industry. 

How to Work From Home in the Healthcare Industry

woman working in home office on computer

More managers than ever are offering employees the option of working from home. Whether it’s staying out of rush-hour traffic, being closer to your loved ones, or improving your work-life balance, there’s never been a better time to telecommute.

In this post, we’ll look at the steps you can take to work from home in the healthcare industry.  

Target the Right Industry

Before you start your search, make sure you have the right training in the right field. Not every industry is telecommute-friendly. Some industries allow you to work remotely, but in lower-paying positions with less specialized skills or required knowledge.

The healthcare industry represents the best of both worlds. The field of healthcare offers a variety of positions that require more specialized skills, and a greater degree of knowledge, in return for relatively high compensation, benefits, and schedule flexibility. 

Optimize Your Home Office (and Internet)

The key to working from home is treating your telecommuting position with the same level of responsibility that you would if you were working in the office. This means signing on to work at your scheduled start time, and adhering to your required schedule from your home office. The key to effective telecommuting also means responding to emails and instant messaging in a timely manner, and adhering to quality and productivity guidelines for the work that you are doing. While working from home can support a variety of workspaces and setups, two components you’ll need to have are a computer and a reliable Internet connection. You can only benefit from the flexibility of working from home if you have the tools necessary to communicate and complete each task on schedule.

Identify Your Options

The most common starting points when looking for remote positions are employment sites and job boards, using keywords such as “telecommute,” “remote,” and “work from home” in addition to the specific job you are interested in applying for, or the field of healthcare that you would like to explore. Some job boards offer only telecommuting positions, but they may be flooded with a large number of applicants. 

If you’re interested in working from home in the healthcare industry, we can help. Invest in yourself and improving your work-life balance by enrolling in our course entitled, “How to Make Money Working From Home in Healthcare (Full Time!).” Enroll now and get the course for the limited time offer of 50% off.

For more informative articles, visit the Avidity Medical Design Blog.