Step 1 – Assess the problem.
→ How long ago did you notice the problem? What symptoms are present? ___________________________________________________
→ How long have you had these symptoms?
→ Where is the pain located and how would you describe it?
→ Determine your vital signs:
- Body Temperature __________
- Breaths per minute __________
- Heart Rate ___________ beats per minute
- Blood Pressure (if possible) _________/__________
→ If you have experienced this problem before what actions did you take?
→ Could this problem have been caused by a recent change in your life?
Does anyone you know have the same symptoms?
Step 2 – Educate yourself.
→ Use the Mayo Clinic Guide to Self-Care or other books or internet resources
(i.e. WebMD) to learn more about the symptoms you are experiencing.
→ Ask those you know for opinions and advice. Ask both professional and non-
→ What is it that you think is wrong?
– What have you done for Self-Care? Any over the counter medications?
→ What do you think is the best course of action for this?
Step 3 – Reassess the problem.
→ After a period of time, how have your symptoms progressed? Better or worse? ________________________________________________________
Some considerations before, during, and after a visit to a health care provider:
Before the visit:
– Complete the self-care checklist above.
– Provide a list of any medications you are taking (OTC and prescription).
During the visit:
– Describe your primary health problem.
– Use the checklist to describe the symptoms present, and what you have
already done to treat the problem.
After the visit:
o What the health care provider determined the problem was.
o What suggestions he/she gave you for self-care at home.
o Any drugs, tests, or treatments recommended and their possible side
Under what circumstances you should contact the health care provider again for this problem.