It can be hard to balance the dangers of COVID with the risks of failing to seek medical treatment when you need it. It is crucial to attend the hospital in an emergency, such as an injury that is bleeding a lot or a broken bone. If you are faced with an emergency, it is vital to call 911 and follow their advice.
If you have symptoms that are non-emergent, it can be harder to decide whether to take the risk to go to the doctor. There are many things you can do in this situation to mitigate the risk of COVID to you and others. Here are some of the best steps to take should you find you need non-urgent medical treatment during COVID.
Do Not Attend With COVID Symptoms
If you have symptoms of COVID that don’t require urgent hospital treatment, it is best not to attend an appointment you have. It is crucial to talk to your doctor first and confirm that this is the best course of action. Attending a non-essential appointment with symptoms of COVID can put others at risk of catching COVID from you.
Keep Track Of Your Symptoms
If you’re having symptoms that you’re seeking treatment or diagnosis for, it can help to keep a record of your symptoms at home. This will ensure you have all of the information readily available to provide to your doctor.
It can help to keep a diary of symptoms. Note down the time that they occur, what you were doing, and eating if applicable. This can help you understand what may be triggering your symptoms and aid your doctor in a diagnosis.
Be Open To Alternative Contact
Many doctors are offering alternatives to face-to-face appointments, thanks to the pandemic. This means you may be able to seek medical advice online or via telephone. This can be an excellent way to mitigate the risk of attending a busy medical practice during COVID.
If your doctor doesn’t offer virtual consults, it may help to shop around for a doctor that does. Always be thorough when researching a new doctor to ensure you get the level of care you need.
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Don’t Delay Important Screening
If you have essential screenings due, it is crucial that you attend. While this may not necessarily be an emergency, important screening such as mammograms can be classed as urgent, particularly if you have a family history of breast cancer. Take a look at this guide to mammograms during COVID from Ezra Scan for more information on why you should still attend vital screening.
Select Medical Centers With Good Cleaning Protocols
Often, medical centers will provide an extensive overview of the steps they are taking to reduce the spread of COVID. This should include regular, thorough cleaning throughout the facility. You can find out more about the steps a medical center is taking to keep their practice safe on their website.
Ensuring a medical center is taking steps to keep their facilities clean can give you the peace of mind to seek in-person treatment when you need it.
Listen To Your Doctor
If you are still concerned, it is best to talk to your doctor over the phone. They will be able to give you the best advice about whether you should attend in person or not. If they tell you to attend, it is crucial that you do, regardless of your concerns around COVID.
Ensure that you practice good hygiene if you are attending medical treatment. This should include regular hand washing, preferably with running water and soap, but also with hand sanitizer if this is not available. Wash your hands every time they come into contact with a door or handle frequently used by others.
You should also wear a face-covering in public, including in medical centers. There are many types of face coverings, and none are 100% effective, but they can go a long way to reducing the spread of COVID.
Check Yourself Regularly At Home
You should monitor yourself at home for any signs and symptoms of illness. Many people are avoiding attending medical centers due to the threat of COVID, but you can still do important self-assessment for different issues at home. For instance, you can learn how to check yourself for breast lumps and monitor any changes to your weight or mood.
Getting medical treatment during difficult times like these can add a whole new layer of stress. It is important not to avoid medical treatment, however, as even with the risk of COVID, your overall health should still be a top priority. If you have concerns, you should look at your family doctor’s website for guidance and be open to the idea of telephone or video call appointments. If you suspect you have an emergency issue, always call 911 to find out if you need urgent medical care.