Going to the doctor can be unpleasant, but it is how we learn to care for ourselves. Doctors can help teach us things to make sure we are healthy and thriving. If you are going to the cardiologist for the first time, you may be wondering how that visit will go. Below are some things that you can expect when going to the cardiologist.
The First Visit Includes a Lot of Questions
You may know already that your cardiologist will be asking several questions. Be prepared to answer them. This can seem a bit intimidating for most people. However, this is how the cardiologist learns about your personal health. It gives them some basic knowledge and may even help them detect certain conditions that may be hereditary.
Optimal Heart Attack & Stroke Prevention Center, a Scottsdale cardiologist practice, notes that the best thing to do is relax and take your time when answering your questions. Try not to stress over it. It is not a test. Remember to breathe and relax. Think about what you are being asked and answer accordingly. It may seem like a lot of questions, but you will only have to answer them on your first visit.
How to Prepare
Going to your first cardiology appointment consists of a lot of background work. There are some ways that you can prepare to make the appointment a bit more comfortable for yourself. Below are some things that you may want to do to prepare for your appointment.
Things to Bring
- A list of questions to ask the doctor: They are not the only one who gets to ask questions. You can too. This helps you get acquainted with your doctor and can help you better understand your own health. Also, you may want to know the doctor’s action plan. Feel free to ask.
- A list of your prescriptions: This cannot be stressed enough. By bringing your prescriptions, the doctor will be able to properly have them put in your chart. It is important to know what you are taking so the doctor does not prescribe you anything that could interact with your current medications.
- Your family medical history: Writing down your family history helps identify if you may have a genetic issue. This can help the doctor greatly. Some illnesses can be hard to detect. You can memorize this one if you know it. If not, feel free to write it down.
- The name and phone number of your current doctor: The cardiologist may already have this information if you were given a referral. Even so, it is good to have that information on hand.
Will Any Tests Be Done?
You can bet there are. If you do not like the needle do be prepared that blood tests may be taken on the first visit. Not all test are done in the office though. Some tests will require you to go to other offices or labs. If your insurance requires it, you may have to wait for a referral.
Some Tests Your Cardiologist May Order
- Stress Test: This is done on a treadmill most of the time.
- Echocardiogram: This test consists of being hooked up to some wires. It only takes a couple of minutes. You have to relax and be still for it to get a proper reading though.
- A CT Scan
- A Magnetic Resonance Angiography
- Blood Tests
This is not a complete list of possible tests. Also, keep in mind that just because this test is mentioned here does not mean that your doctor will order the test. Your doctor will only order the tests that he or she feels are necessary.
You can find more information on what the specific tests are like at Forbes.
Things to Keep Track of Before the Appointment
If you went to your doctor about certain symptoms and were referred to a cardiologist, then you may want to keep a close eye on those symptoms. Maybe even write down what you keep experiencing. This can be very important information for your doctor.
Some Things to Make Note Of
- Do you have a rapid heartbeat?
- How long do the symptoms last?
- When do you experience these symptoms?
- Has this been an ongoing problem?
- When did you first notice this starting to happen?
- Do you have any other symptoms happening at the same time?
These may even be part of the questions that the cardiologist asks you. It is good to note how you are feeling so that you can give the doctor as much information as possible.
Going to the doctor can be an intimidating experience. It does not have to be. You are there to get the help you need and the doctor is there to help you. Try to stay relaxed and take your time. The appointments usually last about an hour or so. You will be in and out before you know it. If interested, you can check out this YouTube video for more information on what to expect.