Visits to the Doctor
Many elders are postponing visits to doctors for fear of catching Covid-19. This is a good strategy until something comes along that should not be postponed or cannot be managed via a tele-health visit. When that occurs, here are tips for how to manage a visit to the doctor.
Find out in advance of an appointment with the doctor what the practice is doing to avoid contamination. Ask:
- Are patients screened for Covid-19 upon arrival?
- Do I need to wear gloves and/or a mask?
- Who can accompany me?
- Are areas I will visit cleaned and disinfected between patients?
- Are patients known to have Covid-19 treated in the same areas I will use? Will medical staffers seeing me also see these patients?
- Where am I expected to wait? How many other people are typically in that area?
- What protective equipment does staff wear? Are they checked for Covid-19 daily?
If you do not get satisfactory answers to your questions, consider changing doctors or request special treatment so you are adequately protected in the office.
On the patient’s side of the safety equation, plan to wear a mask and a face shield. Be ready with questions and information when the doctor appears so you spend as little time in the clinic as possible. If you need to make notes about information the doctor gives you, take time to do that but have pen and paper ready for use or use your iPhone. Do as much as possible on-line, such as filling out forms, prior to the visit.
Even though precautions are tedious, it is important that we continue to be careful for our own health as well as that of others.
Information in this article summarized from Kaiser Health News, July 6, 2020