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Is It Safe to Go to the Doctor’s Office Now?

Is It Safe to Go to the Doctor’s Office Now?

As life continues to return to normal, you may be wondering if it’s safe to resume in-person medical and dental visits. Although the COVID-19 virus is still a concern, skipping appointments could jeopardize your health if you’re ill, injured or have a chronic disease or condition. Fortunately, doctors, dentists and other healthcare providers are taking steps to keep you safe during visits.

What are healthcare professionals doing to keep me safe?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state health departments and professional organizations are giving healthcare providers information about providing care safely. Doctors, dentists, physical therapists, optometrists and other providers are making these types of changes to protect you:

  • Sanitizing exam rooms and equipment between patients
  • Cleaning waiting areas, restrooms and other areas frequently
  • Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks, protective clothing, face shields and gloves
  • Separating sick patients from well patients
  • Requiring employees to be tested for COVID-19 regularly
  • Checking employee temperatures daily
  • Decreasing the number of patients seen during the day
  • Spacing chairs in the waiting room six feet apart
  • Pre-screening patients by phone before appointments to determine if they or someone they live with has coronavirus symptoms

What can I expect when I arrive at the office?

Social distancing is important even when seeing your healthcare provider. When you arrive, many providers will have you call or text the office and will ask you to wait in your car until it’s time for your appointment. The staff will contact you when they’re ready to see you.

Before you step inside the office, your temperature will probably be checked with a no-contact thermometer and you’ll be asked a series of questions to determine if you or someone you’ve recently been in contact with may have coronavirus. You may not be able to keep your in-patient appointment if you have a fever or symptoms. If this happens, you’ll receive instructions about where or when you can be treated. You’ll also need to wear a mask during your visit. If you arrive without one, you’ll be given a disposable mask.

If you do spend time in the waiting room, you’ll likely notice there are fewer chairs and no magazines. While you’re in the waiting room or other parts of the office, try to stay at least six feet away from other people if possible.

The office may not allow family members or friends to come with you during your appointment. If you’re accompanying a child or a person with special needs, let the office know in advance.

If I don’t feel comfortable going to the office, can I still receive the care I need?

If you’re in a high-risk group, you may not feel comfortable visiting a medical or dental office yet. If your healthcare provider offers telehealth visits, you can take advantage of a virtual visit. During a telehealth appointment, you’ll use the camera and microphone of your smartphone, laptop or tablet to talk to your provider about your symptoms or concerns.

Don’t let coronavirus fears keep you from receiving healthcare services. The steps healthcare providers are taking will help reduce your risk of contracting the virus – and the benefits of staying on top of your health will increase your chances of staying healthier overall.

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Terms & Conditions

By participating in this quiz, or screening or health assessment, I recognize and accept all risks associated with it. I understand that the program will only screen for certain risk factors and does not constitute a complete physical exam. For the diagnosis of a medical problem, I must see a physician for a complete medical exam. I release Deborah Heart and Lung Center and any other organization(s) involved in this screening, and their employees and agents, from all liabilities, medical claims or expenses which may arise from my participation. Thank you for investing in your health by participating today.