Make the Most of Your VA Appointment

Arriving early can save you time.

A person talking to their doctor in an exam room.Your time with your health care team is important. We have tips on how to make the most of your VA appointments. VA staff are there to help you every step of the way.

How can I prepare for my appointment? 

VA staff will work with you to organize your appointment, so your time is valued and your needs are met. By working together, we can make the most of your time and the time of other Veterans receiving care. Here are a few steps you can take to help.

  • Arrive 20 minutes before your scheduled appointment time to complete important first steps with your healthcare team.

  • Bring a current list of both your prescription and over-the-counter medications to review with your team.

  • Bring any forms or documents that need to be completed and have your portions filled out.

What can I expect during my appointment?

Your health care team works together to complete different parts of your appointment. Some members of your team will collect important information for your medical record. Others will connect you to resources and support for managing your health.

Here are a few of the people you may meet from the beginning to the end of your appointment:

  • Medical support assistant (MSA): Your appointment starts with the MSA who checks you in, updates your contact information, verifies your insurance, and addresses other requests.

  • Nursing staff: The nursing staff checks your weight, height, and vital signs. They update medical records with care you may have received from non-VA providers. They prepare you for your medical provider visit.

  • Medical provider: The medical provider completes your physical exam and reviews your medications. They also discuss any health concerns you have. This part makes up most of your appointment.

  • Additional team members: The additional staff may see you before or after your medical provider visit. They might talk to you about health conditions or concerns you have. The additional team members you may meet include laboratory or radiology technicians, Whole Health coaches, pharmacists, dieticians, mental health clinicians, and others.

  • Medical support assistant (MSA): Your appointment ends with the MSA who completes your check-out and assists with scheduling future appointments.

Every person you see during your appointment works together to ensure your Whole Health needs are met. 

VA tools make managing appointments easy.

VEText is VA’s text messaging appointment reminder system. These reminders can help you plan ahead and arrive early to your appointments. You can also manage your VA appointments with a My HealtheVet Premium account. This allows you to schedule or cancel some VA appointments. If you have questions, before or after your visit, send a Secure Message to your VA health care team.

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