tips for clinic
Getting the most out of your appointment
You may be seeing a hand specialist for the first time to talk about your hand problem or for a follow-up visit after tests or treatment, but it is important you get the most out your outpatient appointment. Whether you are attending one of our new remote video clinics, coming to hospital for a more traditional face-to-face appointment or expecting a simple telephone follow-up consultation, here are some tips to help you maximise your experience:
Before your appointment
Know the reason for your visit and what you want to happen.
Before your appointment, write down any questions that you want answered.
If you need an interpreter, please contact the hospital to check one has been arranged for you.
Bring someone with you to help you remember what the hand specialist says.
If possible, make sure any rings or other jewellery can be removed easily if required.
If you are having a remote video consultation, make sure you have tested your communication equipment and have a strong cellular or Wi-Fi signal. Choose a quiet, well-lit area, and avoid direct sunlight or sitting with a window behind you.
If you are attending hospital, please consider whether you will feel comfortable driving home after any treatment is given during your clinic appointment. It is your responsibility to ensure you are safe to drive.
Bring a book or something to do if there is a delay in your appointment. We always try to keep to time, but sometimes delays are unavoidable. Please bear with us.
During the consultation
You may wish to write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments or tests. Also you may wish to write down any instructions the clinician gives you.
Bring a list of your current medications and consider writing down relevant past medical events. This can sometimes save time and may be important.
If you are unsure or unwilling to follow a course of treatment, please say so. If you do not take a prescribed medicine or comply with a physiotherapy programme, it won’t work. We want to agree a suitable course of treatment with you so that we can improve your hand problem together.
If a follow-up appointment is needed, your clinician will give you a rough estimate of when this will be. It is useful to write this down in case your next appointment letter is lost in the post.
Make sure you know the name of your hand specialist, in case you need to contact the hospital urgently and cannot wait until your next appointment. This will help our hospital telephone switchboard put you through to the correct medical secretary.
At the end or after your consultation
Remember to ask the clinician about your ability to return to work, sports and driving. You may need to give your employer a fitness to work note (sick-note), which your hand specialist can provide.
Follow the advice you have received from your hand specialist carefully, including any guidance on wearing splints, performing exercises, or limiting activity.
If you are expecting to receive more information (e.g. a further appointment, hand therapy or an operation), but do not receive anything in a timely manner, then please contact the secretary of your hand specialist. (Please refer to our contact us page for further details)