Women have many options to choose from when selecting a fertility clinic, and the choices can be overwhelming. Picking a name out of the phone book may not be effective, especially when you need to attend to intimate and important procedures. How do you know the doctor is right for you? Will the doctor handle your case and questions in the right way?
Before you call a fertility clinic, research the following three top traits. Even if the reviews are positive, bring these concerns to the office and make sure your fertility specialists address them before you consent to any procedure.
How Does the Nursing Team Treat Its Patients?
In all likelihood, you will spend more time with the nurses and staff than with a doctor. These team members are responsible for the pre-checks and recovery, and they are often there to help during any procedures. As such, you want to make sure that a sizable nursing staff exists for the size of the office and that the team cares for its patients.
Overworked nurses might mean patients miss out on care. You could spend long hours by yourself and struggle with basic tasks such as going to the bathroom or refilling your water. If your nurse remains in a hurry, you might not get any questions answered, which could leave you feeling scared and frustrated by the experience. While a doctor is an important part of the experience, nurses can make or break the clinic atmosphere.
Can You Contact the Office for Appointments or Questions?
If you’re seeking treatment from a clinic instead of a hospital, you may be limited to business hours when you need to contact the office. Patients can get frustrated or worried about post-op issues, and so can those who want to make appointments or need billing questions answered.
Check to see if an after-hours phone line exists for patients going through recovery or if the clinic expects patients to go to the hospital. For long-term care, ask about a patient portal where you can send emails to your doctor and manage appointments, health insurance, and health information online. These two traits will make the clinic experience more enjoyable.
What Is the Attention to Detail Like Among the Doctors and Staff?
At best, poor attention to detail means a patient doesn’t receive test results on time or an office manager forgets to call and confirm a follow-up appointment. At worst, poor attention to detail means the doctor forgets to tell a patient about possible complications or ask about allergies and certain medical issues. One is a minor inconvenience, but the other is potentially fatal.
As you meet with professionals at various fertility clinics, keep an eye on organizational processes and the steps staff members take to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. When you meet with the doctor, make note of how much time the person spends listening to your concerns and making sure your feel comfortable.
Fertility IQ is a review site that rates fertility clinics and allows patients to share their experience working with the teams. This invaluable resource allows you to learn about potential doctors and create clinic evaluation criteria.