When you realize that you have an upcoming medical appointment, your first response might be to give your calendar a big thumbs-down. Whether seeing a doctor or waiting for your car to be serviced, waiting around can seem like a huge waste of time. Instead, plan to capitalize on the time by utilizing it wisely. Consider the following tips to help you plan for your next appointment.

Plan Ahead for the Waiting Room

Confirm the time of your appointment and its location. You might need to bring certain materials, such as an identification card, an insurance card, a list of current medications, or if it is an appointment for your vehicle, notes about past repairs. Locating these items ahead of time can prevent you from needing to conduct a frantic search the morning of your appointment.

Make a list of any questions that you want to ask. You might want to ask a care provider about medications and symptoms that you are experiencing, or you may have a laundry list of items you want your mechanic to check out on your vehicle. If you think you might not remember the answers you receive, plan to take notes during the discussion. Some people prefer to attend their appointments alone, but others like to ask someone to accompany them. Having another person there ensures that a second set of ears will be present to hear the conversation, and he or she can also prevent misunderstandings by asking for additional clarification.

Plan To Wait

Keep in mind that your provider may not be ready to see you at your scheduled time. Appointments with other clients can easily last longer than expected, and you could, therefore, need to wait. As you sit in the waiting room, the delay could cause you to become increasingly frustrated and nervous. Keeping yourself occupied while you wait can allow you to have a much more pleasant experience.

Depending on your interests, you could bring along reading materials, sudoku or crossword puzzles, needlework, or any other type of activities that you enjoy. Some offices prohibit the use of cell phones, so it is best not to rely on your phone to help you pass the time. Your doctor’s office or service center might use digital signage software in its waiting room. If so, you’re in for a visual treat. These signs can provide entertainment and education. The signs’ information can allow you to focus your thoughts on the content instead of the wait, and it can also prompt you to think of additional questions.

Plan Your Next Steps

When you leave your appointment, you should feel confident about your interaction. Make sure you know when you should return for your next appointment. Find out the best way to contact them in case of any problems or follow-up questions. Finally, decide how to reward yourself for planning such a successful visit.