This pandemic makes going to the hospital a truly unique experience. Most hospitals have already been reeling from the ever-increasing demand bought about by COVID-19, but people just can’t be told not to get sick. They’ll have to go to the hospital sooner or later.
Whether you’re going for a consultation or a procedure like, for instance, an Upright MRI-backed scheduled procedure, you’ll have to go through some stringent security measures. That’s the reality in hospitals, where the risk of exposure to coronavirus has been high in recent times. It’s like that everywhere, so no amount of complaining could ever solve the problem of having to adjust to the situation.
It doesn’t matter if it’s an appointment or treatment; you’ll get the same treatment that patients with non-COVID-19 cases will receive. You’ll be attended to by staff with PPEs but won’t necessarily be accommodated quickly. Here’s what to expect during this time:
Make an appointment with your doctor
Just because it’s a pandemic, doesn’t mean that emergencies have stopped. There are still medical emergencies that continue to happen. Doctors advise patients to regularly check themselves for anything wrong and if there is something, they should call right away.
Each hospital visit is different from the last. It’s wrong to assume that one hospital visit could serve as a model for all visits. When you’re deciding whether you should go for a personal visit or take a video consultation, there’s no single, tried-and-tested approach.
It all depends on your particular case or the nature of your emergency. If you’re not that sick — if you can be diagnosed through video — that’s how your consultation will go. Otherwise, you’ll have to visit the hospital.
Telephone appointments are the norm
If you need to go to an appointment, there are other options. Lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders have made other processes go virtual — yes, even consultations. It’s a challenging situation to be in but it’s a completely necessary one to avoid anything unpleasant happening.
If you’re not in dire need of being checked at the hospital, the doctor could decide to do a virtual consultation with you so you’ll both be safe. It can be less personal but on the other hand, it’s not risky. You’ll also feel relieved that you don’t have to go to a hospital, the one place where your safety from the coronavirus may be jeopardized just by stepping through the entrance.
A face-to-face appointment at the hospital
There are cases that will inevitably require the attention of a physician on a face-to-face basis. Some of them might require you to go to the hospital, and these are for really serious cases. During a time like this, it’s understandable if the hospital seems like alien ground. There’s no telling whether you’ll get infected just because you need immediate treatment.
Hospitals may also have certain protocols for in-person consultations with a doctor. They might ask you to undergo mandatory testing so that they’re sure you’re not a carrier. All hospitals also require PPEs for both the medical personnel and the patients. You’ll have to provide your own PPE like face masks and face shields to get into the hospital.
Decide whether you can continue the treatment at home
If you’re in the hospital and you’re already receiving treatment, decide with your doctor whether you can continue the treatments at home. Your doctor knows better if you can have ongoing treatments at home or if you need continuing and better observations at the hospital.
It depends on how good or how bad you’re looking, according to your physician. Patients who are already recovering can elect to continue their treatments at home, but those who need further diagnosis may have to stay at the hospital a little longer.
Stay protected at the hospital
Hospitals are high-traffic areas where people, both the patients and the professionals taking care of them, are always on the move. It’s up to you to lower your risk of infection by choosing the hospitals you’ll go to. You’ll also get to avoid more people by going to smaller clinics or urgent care centers nearest to you.
It’s highly likely that you’re going to be checked for your temperature when entering the hospital. Agree to these procedures.
It’s not easy going to the hospital during this situation. There are people here being treated for COVID-19, among other illnesses. If you want, stay protected when you’re going into and out of the hospital. Make sure that you’re fully protected to help you and the others around you stay safe from the coronavirus.