Next time you’ve got an annual exam on the calendar, don’t forget your mask and hand sanitizer. The rules we’ve been following since early last year still apply, and it’s especially crucial to steer clear of contaminants in a medical setting. To avoid picking up any unpleasant germs, COVID or otherwise, at the doctor’s office, read this quick guide on visiting the doctor safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Check Yourself for Symptoms
In the days leading up to your appointment, keep a closer eye on yourself. Listen to your breathing, take your temperature regularly, and be mindful of muscle and body aches. Test your senses of taste and smell by eating a flavorful meal. Before you go into the doctor’s office, you’ll have to confirm that you haven’t exhibited any of these symptoms. Make sure you’re healthy when you walk in.
Brush Up on Requirements
What is your doctor’s office doing to slow the spread? Be prepared to follow their regulations. Some offices stagger check-in times to avoid having too many people clustered around the desk. Learn what kinds of face coverings the staff is wearing. Wear one yourself, even if you’re vaccinated; masked faces in medical settings will be much more common in a post-COVID world, so get used to them sticking around.
Keep to Yourself
One of the biggest risks of a doctor’s office during a pandemic is the presence of people who are sick! Maintain a safe social distance of at least six feet whenever possible, and avoid contact with high-touch surfaces. (If you do touch surfaces like doorknobs or elevator buttons, sanitize your hands afterward.) Ask the receptionist if they offer touchless payment options.
Some of your doctor’s visits will need to be in person. You can’t do X-rays or blood tests via telemedicine. However, some visits don’t require an in-person chat. Talk to your doctor about what future visits will entail and schedule accordingly. If it’s possible to meet with them virtually, like for a quick consultation or prescription refill, schedule a telehealth call.
You don’t have to put off your healthcare and wait until the pandemic is over. In fact, you shouldn’t! Staying on top of your health now will keep later complications at bay. When you’re due for an exam, follow these basic guidelines for visiting the doctor safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.