Getting routine medical checkups and care is essential, especially for seniors and people managing chronic conditions. This helps prevent the progression of any disease, detect conditions early on, and ensure patients remain in good health.
However, COVID-19 has made it challenging for most patients to access basic medical care. This is mainly because of the travel restrictions that are being implemented in place in some countries and states during the lockdown. However, even though some governments have lifted lockdowns and travel restrictions, many people are still hesitant to visit hospitals and healthcare facilities due to the risk of exposure.
Safety Precautions To Consider When Visiting Your Doctor
If you’re managing a chronic condition or need urgent medical care, seeing your doctor is vital. In this article, you’ll find some safety precautions to consider when visiting your physician.
On your way to the hospital, you have to exercise caution. Consider wearing a face mask and bring a small bottle of alcohol or sanitizer that you must use each time you touch communal surfaces like public vehicle doors, railings, or tables. If you need mobility assistance to the clinic, you may book non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT). This carriage service is provided for patients who don’t need quick attention but require help in getting to the hospital safely.
Most NEMT drivers clean and disinfect their cars as a safety precaution. Besides that, they also carry a small number of passengers to limit close contact in the vehicle. Therefore, this service may be suitable for those looking for a more comfortable and safer way to get to the hospital.
Most NEMT companies have a program or applications where you book a ride and then leave customer ratings or feedback on a particular driver and the firm in general. If you find a rider or enterprise with more positive comments, it might mean they’re reliable, and therefore you could consider them.
Once you get to the clinic for your medical checkup or medical care, here are some safety precautions to observe:
1. Have Your Face Mask On
When you’re at the clinic, there may be other patients around. In most cases, it might not be easy to identify a person who has been infected with COVID-19 or any other infectious disease, especially if they’re in the asymptomatic stage.
It’s believed that viruses can get into the body through the mouth or nose. This can happen if a sick person coughs or talks and their saliva or mucus gets in an uninfected person’s nose or mouth. To avoid this, ensure you wear a protective covering when in the hospital—and make sure you wear it properly! Besides protecting yourself, you’ll also prevent spreading infectious diseases to others if you’re sick.
2. Practice Social Distancing
To prevent the transmission of illnesses amongst patients, most hospitals will recommend social distancing in the lounge and waiting rooms. When you visit your doctor, you might find instructions in such places advising that people stay about a meter apart from each other. To protect yourself from infectious diseases, ensure you follow these instructions.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, scientists and other professionals have been looking for various ways to fight the virus. Although a cure is still unavailable, technology improves in a significant way to prevent the rapid spread of the disease.
For instance, some hospitals might have a mobile application that could help their patients practice social distancing. With this system, a person just presses the arrival button upon reaching the clinic before getting inside the hospital. Once the doctor is ready for them, the app notifies them via a message. You can choose to go to doctors who utilize this kind of technology. You can then stay in your car and avoid crowded waiting rooms or other communal areas. As a result, the risk of getting infected will be very low.
3. Avoid Surfaces Frequently Touched By Others
Since you’ll be in a public facility, avoid surfaces that are frequently being touched by others. These include doorknobs, staircase handrails, or elevator buttons. Also, if necessary, avoid the doctor’s table. Even though most of these areas may be regularly cleaned or disinfected, there’s a chance some may have germs or viruses on them. Therefore, avoid them at all costs. However, if touching them is necessary, use a tissue or disinfect your hands right away.
If you accidentally touch these surfaces, don’t touch your mouth, nose, or eyes until you have washed or disinfected your hands. This is because your hands might have picked up germs or viruses, and they could enter your body through these parts of the face. Also, wash your hands thoroughly with soap. If you can’t find a place to do this, use a hand sanitizer.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is not completely over, you don’t have to delay your routine check-up and annual doctor’s appointments. Though COVID-19 is a real health concern, your annual check-up is also a health concern too. In this article, you’ll find some precautions you can take to keep yourself safe when visiting your physician during this pandemic. These include wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and not touching communal surfaces.