10 Chapter 3 Follow-up Care Medical Appointments After you return home, you will likely have follow-up medical appointments with your doctor. During these visits you may have blood tests, an EKG (electrocardiogram), or a stress test. These will evaluate your heart to see how well it is performing after your surgery, procedure, or hospital stay. It’s important to schedule any followup medical appointments your doctor recommends, as these visits can help you manage the condition that led to your hospital visit in the first place. They can also make you less likely to return due to an emergency. Make sure all your doctors are aware of your health status (often a phone call will do), particularly new conditions, changes in medication, and additional procedures needed in the future. This is especially important if you will have new procedures performed, as the medications you take may need to be adjusted. • Know how to reach your doctor after hours in case of emergency. • Do not be afraid to be an advocate for your own health. • Do not keep “secrets” from your doctor. • Have a friend or family member accompany you. You may also consider joining a support group, such as Mended Hearts, or visiting a specialty clinic (heart failure, diabetes, nutrition, etc.).
P1052 ABC Transitions in Care
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