Seeing Your Doctor During the Coronavirus Crisis: 9 Critical Questions Answered

The COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm, and many people are still sheltering in place to help stop the spread. Unfortunately, many are also putting off seeing the doctor out of fear. There are many reasons to continue going to the doctor. Here are the answers to some critical questions to help put your mind at ease.

  1. Is telemedicine a good alternative?

When looking for a doctor, it’s important to note that many clinics now offer virtual appointments. It’s possible to treat and diagnose many conditions through telemedicine. While not a replacement for in-person treatment, the doctor can prescribe antibiotics, monitor chronic illnesses, or offer consultations online. There are some limitations, however. For instance, doctors cannot perform hands-on manipulation, which is often needed for physical therapy.

  1. Does insurance cover telemedicine?

Since there is a huge demand for online appointments, more insurance companies than ever are now covering telemedicine. Of course, you’ll want to check the specifics of your policy before scheduling an appointment. A quick phone call to the insurance company will give you the answer you need.

  1. Is telemedicine tricky to understand?

Most clinics are making telemedicine as simple as possible. Even if you’re not computer savvy, your doctor should guide you through the process. In most cases, you’ll only need a computer or even a smartphone. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask before your appointment. The front office staff or nurse practitioner should be available before your appointment to make sure you’re ready to begin.

  1. Is telemedicine helpful for patients?

Telemedicine makes it possible for doctors to continue seeing patients during the pandemic. Doctors can still “see” their patients. They will listen to your concerns and provide a treatment plan. Online appointments are also convenient for patients who may have different work hours because of the pandemic.

  1. When should patients see the doctor in person?

While telemedicine is great, it’s not always an appropriate alternative to in-person visits. Patients should visit the doctor for sudden changes in their health, including high fever, weakness, difficulty breathing, or possible broken bones. These symptoms warrant a visit to an urgent care clinic or the emergency room.

  1. How are medical clinics keeping their patients safe?

Doctors don’t want their patients getting sick. During the pandemic, many clinics are now staggering appointments and offering curbside check-in to reduce exposure. Others may provide at-home visits for their most vulnerable patients.

  1. Is it safe to go to the doctor?

Fewer people are going to their doctor because they worry about catching COVID-19. However, waiting too long for treatment may be life-threatening. Doctor’s disinfect and sanitize their clinics to meet CDC guidelines. This greatly reduces the risk of infection. Wearing a mask and practicing proper social distancing techniques will also help keep you safe during an in-person visit.

  1. Should children go to the doctor?

Well-visits at the pediatrician are still vital for young children. Doctors often catch other issues during these appointments, including signs of autism. Kids with chronic conditions may need to see a specialist. Don’t cancel these visits. Instead, ask your pediatrician what preventative measures they are taking to ensure the safety of your child.

  1. Should parents put off vaccinations?

Even during the pandemic, it’s critical to prevent other illnesses. Sticking with the vaccination schedule is a must. Talk about any concerns you may have with your pediatrician, and consider spacing out vaccines. School-aged children also need to be vaccinated before returning to in-person classes.

Stay Healthy During a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people view healthcare. Instead of avoiding the doctor during this trying time, tell them about any concerns you may have. From telemedicine to added safety measures, clinics are doing everything possible to reduce the spread.

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