Preventive care is essential — even during a pandemic
During this time of hand sanitizer, masks and social distancing, the best way to stay safe is usually to stay home. However, there are exceptions to this rule when it comes to necessities.
One of those necessities is seeing a doctor for routine and preventive visits. Although you may be concerned about contracting COVID-19 if you are in public, medical offices are taking extra precautions to ensure a safe environment where you can get the care you need.
Why you need preventive care
Health issues including cancer, kidney failure, high blood pressure, diabetes, pregnancy and many others require regular visits to primary care physicians and specialists. Additionally, regular doctor’s visits will catch issues that you won’t know about on your own. So, while some elective procedures may not be available right now, many medical appointments are still essential.
How do you know when to go? For one, if you were already seeing a doctor about a health concern before the pandemic hit, make sure to continue that care. Additionally, routine and preventive visits for vaccinations, follow-up care, and diagnostic review of new symptoms are all important to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations down the line.
Emergency room visits now more than ever should be reserved for emergency medical care, including any of these conditions:
- Chest pain or pressure, shortness of breath, or other heart attack symptoms
- Sudden numbness, weakness, confusion, or other stroke symptoms
- Difficulty breathing
- Heavy bleeding
- Significant injury or trauma
- High fever
- Possible broken bones
If you do not immediately need to go to a hospital but are concerned about a symptom, call your doctor’s office to ask for advice about whether you should come in. Staying safe means including your doctor at every step of the way.
How you can stay safe
Doctors’ offices were already hygienic places, and many have strict measures in place to ensure your safety. For example, masks for both you and the staff may be required. Appointments could be staggered to avoid contact with each other. Surfaces will be disinfected between visits. Tools are sanitized or replaced to prevent the spread of germs.
If you have a medical issue that doesn’t require an in-person visit, telehealth — a phone call or video chat with your doctor — is an excellent way to keep up preventive care.
“This is particularly relevant during the current COVID-19 pandemic where we’ve been instructed to stay at home to reduce social distancing,” Hatfield Medical Group says. “Using your smartphone, tablet or computer you can set up a video conference with our providers just like a regular visit and reduce the chance of catching or spreading illnesses.”
During a telehealth appointment, you can discuss lab results, treatment plans, medication adjustments, any new symptoms you’ve noticed, and questions you may have.
Some medical offices are ready to answer your questions about COVID-19. For example, Hatfield Medical Group was the first primary care group in Arizona to offer commercial testing for the disease and has been keeping its patients up to date on what to do. If you have symptoms, simply call ahead for instructions before going in, so you don’t put anyone else at risk.
No matter your needs, you can find preventive care professionals for every stage of life, so you and your family members are well cared for. Visit HatfieldMedicalGroup.com for more information about the primary, preventive care available at facilities throughout Arizona.