OK… don’t freak out but… I have some bad news…
For 95% of you, there is going to come a day when Mommy & Daddy will no longer make appointments for you.
Yep boys and girls… you are actually going to probably have to talk to someone on the phone… SORRY.
Soooo, lets get that all sorted… follow along… it won’t be that bad… I promise.
- Determine how you want to keep track of your appointments – You can use digital calendar (hint – your phone has one – Google Calendar and it syncs with your phone), or a good old fashioned day planner. Now you will actually have to write (Ghastly) something in a day planner but you can find a pencil or pen somewhere. Which ever you choose, it will help ensure you make the appointments (though most places will call, text, or email you reminders.
- Appointments have output… – fancy way of saying that they will give you stuff. You also need a place to store these documents. So find an old filing cabinet, folder bin, or accordion style holder ). Yep, one of these things
- Create a method for keeping all of your appointment contacts handy – Again… physically or digitally. Your email App lets you create contacts and you can use a planner or address book as an alternative. You want the name of the place, their front desk phone number, and address at a MINIMUM. You will also want to get the name of the person you are meeting and what floor they may be on. If you are using a digital contact list (like in outlook or google), you can even put in a link to the place for quick reference maps.NOTE: Never hurts to have a hard copy (“adulting” word for a handwritten or typed copy) with you anyways in case you can’t access your digital device for some reason.
- If you are planning multiple appointments (but even if it is just one) it is a good idea when you speak to them to try and get an idea of how long that type of appointment takes. This will help you plan your day. Also note the time it takes to get from wherever you are to where you are going. This will help ensure you are on time.
- PLAN TO BE 15 MINUTES EARLY!!!! – There is usually paperwork to be either created or updated. Leave time for that.
- BRING ANY INSURANCE INFORMATION YOU MAY HAVE – Can’t stress this one enough!!! This may be the difference between paying for an appointment on the spot or in the future. Also if you have any deductibles (another #Adulting word for payments you are responsible for with your insurance – sounds like another post, lol). It’ll look something like this example…
- BRING YOUR HEALTH RECORDS WITH YOU!!! – Never assume the place has a copy of your records. Things get lost, doctors forget to send items to other doctors, blah blah blah. Know the dates of previous procedures, doctors names who performed them (aren’t you glad you got this ready early – You’re gonna kill this #Adulting thing), what procedure was performed, and medications you are taking. – This will make for smooth sailing when they hand you a stack of papers to complete. Also they may ask for your work info and bosses contact info so have that handy too (if you aren’t the boss).
- Call To Actually Make the Appointment – I know, I know. You have to talk to someone. It’s ok. They are used to it. Couple of things to discuss though. Make sure it is the right place, seems obvious but you’d be surprised. Tell them what you are looking to do. Make sure they ACTUALLY do what you need (website info may be old). Make sure they accept your type of Insurance (assuming you have it) and the your insurance is considered “IN-NETWORK” – This is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT (see all those caps). In-Network = LESS MONEY for you. If they tell you that your insurance isn’t accepted or is “OUT OF NETWORK” – I suggest you find another provider of that service that is in your network (UNLESS IT IS AN EMERGENCY, then call 911 or get to an Emergency Room). Also ask if there are any special instructions you need to follow to prepare (sometimes you shouldn’t eat before certain appointments as en example). Ask about any cancellation policies they may have.
- Document the New Appointment – Put it in that new grown up tracking spot you created previously and set a reminder (if digital) for 1 week before. Always nice to get a warning.
- Let Others Know You Have an Appointment – Tell your Job, school, or family of the appointment. If it interrupts work or school, make sure to get approvals to be out in advance. Make sure it doesn’t impact any other plans potentially. Document who you talked to in case there is an issue later.
- Call Them If You Are Running Late – Let them know you are running late. See if it will be an issue or if you need to reschedule. No sense getting all the way over there if they can’t fit you in anymore.
- Give As Much Advance Notice As You Can If You Need To Cancel – It’s polite but it also prevents a situation where some places will charge you for not showing up. Remember when we asked about cancellation policies when we set up the appointment… now you know why.
While there is a heavy emphasis on Medical, Dental, Vision type appointments here, the same rules apply for the most part for any appointment.
Document everything the same way… for example if you want to make an appointment to get your hair cut. Ask the name of the person you are talking too and ask for a confirmation number (see people going to think you have done this before). Confirmation numbers can be the one thing that proves you made the call when someone tells you that they can’t find you in the system.
UGH – Don’t let that happen to you.
So there you are… you are now ready to go forth and perform this incredible feat of adulthood.
I knew you could do it!!!