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What To Do If You Need To See A Doctor While Teaching Abroad

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When you decide to teach abroad, you have to be prepared for any eventuality. While things should go well most of the time, sometimes things can go wrong – and you have to be able to deal with them.

One of the most common potential problems is becoming sick while you are abroad. You'll need to see a doctor, but you may not speak the language. And even if you do have some language skills, you may not know medical terms in the language because you won't have had any chance to use them before.

But, you'll still need to be able to communicate with the doctor and get treated. So here are some things you should do to make sure you can get safe treatment if you are sick while traveling abroad.

·      Medications have different brand names in different countries. And many times, pharmacists don't think twice about giving you the generic version of the medication. If you have to take any medication regularly, Google the name of it in that country and write it down so you can explain to the doctor that you are taking it. This can help prevent potential medication interactions.

·      The same goes for anything you may be allergic to, medicine or otherwise. Find out the local name for those things, and have it written down so you can simply hand it to the doctor without having to go through a huge explanation.

·      Find out which doctor in your area is going to be the most helpful. You should be able to ask your fellow teachers what doctors they use and which ones they avoid. Do this before you get sick, so that in case of emergency you have the name, number and location of a doctor with a good reputation.

·      If at all possible, bring a native speaker with you to your appointment. That way if you have questions, they will be able to ask them for you. Many hospitals that cater to expats have a full staff of foreign language speakers. But, if you are not in one of those places, it is better to be prepared.

·      When you do get your prescription, Google the name of the medication before you take it – so that you can make sure the doctor understood you and gave you the right thing for the right problem (and also to prevent possible drug interactions).

·      Ask when you make your appointment how much it will cost. Some doctors will try to take advantage of foreigners who don't know what medical care should cost. Once you get the cost, ask a local person if the charge is reasonable, or if the person is trying to scalp you.

·      Get the doctor to print out a description of what is ailing you. This is helpful for getting time off of work, and also will allow you to have a better understanding of the actual problem.

·      Make sure you have travel health insurance, so if something major happens and you get stuck in the hospital, it will be covered.

·       Once you go to the pharmacy, ask the pharmacist if he or she can clarify any information about using the medication. In many countries, they are far more helpful and responsive than actual doctors.

cc InternationalEducators.com


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