Who invented the word appointment anyway? Yes, sometimes we schedule appointments we are unable to keep because of unforeseen circumstances. But, I will be the first to admit even I have just avoided an appointment with no real reason. Now that I work at a dental office, I have really been enlightened on the effects of canceled appointments.
So I would like to shed some light for you too. I guess how we should really think of it as: Appoint and Ment, it means that you have to appoint yourself at a certain time somewhere. And you scheduled it originally because you meant to be there.
|Appointments are here for a reason, they are to make sure that you Get to a place at a certain time…Here is the way I look at it…I look At is as though they blocked out that time especially for me and me alone. Meaning if I don’t show, perhaps there was someone else who wanted or even needed that time slot and now no one will be at the appointment.|
The importance of a medical or dental appointment…well let’s start with the obvious. The appointment was made by you, your caregiver or both. So missing these appointments can be detrimental to your health. Let me give you an example. If a dental patient scheduled an appointment with their dentist because they had a toothache, then canceled. At the first canceled appointment chances are it would have been a minor cavity, But since they continued to cancel the appointment it could then turn to a root canal that wakes them up at 2 a.m. with pain and has now become an emergency appointment. This has cost them and the dentist more money in the long run. If you miss the appointment, you are not only wasting your doctor’s time. You could also place your health at risk if you do not start your treatment as quickly as possible.
One of the reasons why it is best keep your appointments is because it is the polite thing to do. Would you arrange a job interview with a company you were serious about working for but then fail to show up? It is highly unlikely. Yet, members of the medical profession routinely have to deal with patients who do not show up for their appointments.
Inform the person you have the appointment with of the cancellation 48 hours in advance. But if that is not possible, let them know as soon as you can. That way, your appointment slot can be given to someone else who may be in need of a last minute appointment. Keep in mind that breaking an appointment without first calling to cancel can prevent someone else from being seen.
Here are some helpful ways to help remember your scheduled appointments…..
Rule # 1: WRITE IT DOWN!
You must choose some sort of system for making a note of appointments, tasks, promises, phone numbers, email addresses, and so on. It is best to keep all of this information in one place and it is critical that the system be portable; that is, you must have it with you at all times. Otherwise, you will make a mental note to “write it down later” when you and your notes are reunited and, if you’re like most human beings, you will promptly forget!
There are many choices for organization systems these days. Some are expensive, some are not. Some are paper and pencil systems, some are electronic.
Rule #2: MAKE IT A HABIT!
They say you have to do something new every day for at least a month before it becomes natural. So, you must do this part. Discipline yourself very closely for a month. Write everything down on the calendar as things come up. (This means you have to find a way for your list to be with you at all times.)
This will include things like appointments you make, assignments which are due, trips you plan, sports events, things you promise to do, and so on. Every time an event involves a person, you should be sure to add that person’s name and any contact information to your notes.
RULE #3: PRIORITIZE TO DO’S.
Sometimes you will have things to do which are small enough that they don’t need a task analysis. For example, you may need to pick things up from the cleaners. It’s unlikely that you have to break this down into smaller steps. That is, unless you find that you keep not doing it even if it is on your calendar! When something like this happens with an easy task, the best thing to do might be break it up into even easier steps. But, let’s assume it’s an easy task for you. One of many such easy tasks, however.
Make a “To Do” list out of these items. Then, prioritize them. Choose only one or a few which have to be done immediately. Put those on your calendar for today or tomorrow, perhaps in red ink. The remaining items may also have a deadline which will make them high priorities but at a later time. For now, add them to your calendar in pencil. If they get done, fine. If they don’t, keep adding them to the next day’s list in pencil until they become a high priority. Then, switch to a red pen and enter them on the next day!
Electronic organizers handle this sort of thing quite well, often allowing you to assign a priority when you enter the task and then managing that for you as you go.
Hopefully these rules have helped you become a good appointment keeper. Let’s face it appointments keep the world in harmony…..If we all just showed up or never showed up, where would we be???
See you at your next appointment!
Rhonda, Appointment scheduler
call me at 719-576-1730 to make your important appointment.