I’ll often read medical blogs because what we do in computer repair isn’t that much different than patient care. I came across this great article about preparing for a medical appointment. That article got me thinking about how to prepare for a computer repair appointment on-site or at our office in Lawrence or Kansas City.
You’re Not a Computer Person (But Don’t Need to Be)
One of the first statements we get during a client intake is “I don’t know, I’m not a computer person.” Of course you’re not, that’s why you’re calling us!
Although the business name is DoctorDave Computer Repair, I didn’t go to medical school (I went to law school). That doesn’t mean I can’t go to the doctor. A good doctor does a careful intake and listens to symptoms. I don’t tell the doctor I have otitis media, I say my ear hurts. I can’t however go to the doctor and say “I’m sick” and leave it there. They’re stuck starting with “Does your left toe hurt” and move up to the top of your head. Obviously that doesn’t happen in real life. They’ll ask probing questions like “Are you in pain?” and “Where does it hurt?”
Tell Us What It’s Doing (Or Not Doing)
Nothing technical. It’s the computer equivalent of “Where does it hurt?” We need to know your symptoms. Instead of saying “I have a virus,” tell us about the strange message you get everytime you turn on your computer.
Take Detailed Notes
Doctors of all kinds like symptom tracking. We even have a symptom tracking worksheet we developed from a client who kept a food diary. Things that seem unimportant sometimes are vital. Anyone who’s watched House knows that. The more details we have, the better diagnosis we can make.
Have a Chief Complaint
Doctors use that term for the answer to the question “What brings you in today?” If you say “everything”, you’ll never get what you want. Go in with one key issue you’re facing and then any other issues rank ordered. When I go to my medical doctor, I’m always complaining about my shoulder, even if I’m just in for an ear infection. Correction. I don’t know if I have an ear infection, I just have pain in my ear. My shoulder’s unrelated, but it’s a nagging pain. Too often I leave the MD’s office with my complaints unresolved. That’s because I’m not organized and threw too much at her at once.
Use An App To Keep Track (Even if it’s email)
We tend to have our phones with us at all time. When a problem develops on your computer, record it on your phone. We’ve got a DoctorDave App to make it easy to do this on an iPhone. If you have an Android phone or just don’t want to download our app (why not?), use your camera and your email.
True story. I was having problems with my stomach and there is an app that will track and rate your poop. Seriously! For computer problems, you don’t need anything that fancy. Just take a picture and send us an email. No poop emails please.
Don’t Let Problems Linger
If you wait until your yearly check and dump all the problems on your physician, he might get a little overwhelmed. Don’t let small problems become big ones. Train yourself on self-examination techniques so you’ll see the first sign of trouble.
With the computer, a small virus becomes a big one over time. A hard drive that clicks or glitches once eventually fails to boot and you lose your data.
Photo by justgrimes