Keeping Your Health Appointments While Keeping Your Distance.
COVID-19 has disrupted our lives and left many feeling uneasy about doing the things they once did without hesitation. Among them—seeing healthcare providers for routine checkups and exams. As the pandemic has stretched on for nearly one year, many people are wondering if it is safe to keep their routine health appointments. Undoubtedly, you can safely visit your healthcare provider during the pandemic. Telemedicine appointments, when available, can be an effective way to follow up with your healthcare provider from the safety of your home. But, if in-person care is required, then following these simple steps can help keep you safe while getting the care you need.
- Before you make an in-person appointment, call ahead to find out what’s being done to keep patients safe during the pandemic. Ask if the office requires patients to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms/exposure prior to their visit. Moreover, confirm that social distancing protocols have been implemented in waiting areas and exam rooms.
- Choose the earliest appointment time available. You’re less likely to have a wait if you’re the first or second appointment in the morning. More than likely, the office will be at it’s cleanest at the start of the day as well, further minimizing the risk of exposure.
- Always wear your mask and fully cover your mouth and nose the entire appointment.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol before or after touching any surfaces in public areas, such as in the waiting area or exam room.
The bottom line is that your health is essential. It’s important to maintain routine and preventive healthcare to avoid negative health outcomes in the future. So check in with your healthcare provider today. He or she will let you know if you can be seen via a virtual appointment, need to be seen in the office, or if you can safely reschedule your appointment.