No one wants to leave the doctors office with more problems than they came in with. Taking your child in for a well checkup is a great way to track developmental milestones and ensure proper asthma care.
But if you’re not careful, the doctor’s office could be the cause of your next illness. According to the CDC, people with asthma are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications even if they take their controller everyday.
There are steps you can take to avoid coming into contact with sick people in the doctor’s office. Take a look at these tips on how to avoid getting sick when going to the doctor’s office.
Schedule Early Visits
The average wait time to see a physician is around 24 minutes. This time period can see like an eternity when the waiting room is filled with coughing patients.
You can reduce your exposure to germs by scheduling your child’s doctor’s appointment early in the morning. Ask for the first appointment of the day when scheduling.
Check-In Before Your Appointment
Prepare your check-in documents in advance when visiting a new pediatrician. Many doctors offer standard check in forms online for you to print and complete ahead of time.
This can help you cut back on the time you spend in the waiting area. If your pediatrician doesn’t offer these documents online, request to have them emailed to you ahead of your appointment.
Use the Well Waiting Area
Some doctors offices offer separate waiting areas for sick and well patients. Always check for signs that mark where you should sit upon arrival.
Keep your child in the well area while you wait to avoid contamination. Often, books and toys are shared between spaces so bring your own hand sanitizer to apply to your child’s hands after she finishes playing.
Bring Your Own Everything
Bringing your own writing utensils means minimizing contact with potential germs during your doctor’s visit. In fact, bringing everything you’ll need to get through your doctor’s appointment can be helpful in avoiding germ exposure.
Ask your child to pack an activity bag with books and toys included. Add an extra pack of Kleenex and hand sanitizer in your bag to avoid using what you find in the doctor’s office.
Wash Your Hands
There are moments, like when using the bathroom, when you can’t avoid contact with shared surfaces. The only way to protect your family is to simply wash your hands.
The CDC recommends washing your hands for around 20 seconds or the full length of the “Happy Birthday” song to remove germs.
How to Avoid Getting Sick While Visiting the Doctor
The doctor’s office should be a place of refuge. But if you schedule your child’s well visits during cold and flu season, expect there to be a larger number of sick patients in the waiting area when you arrive.
Aim for the off season when making appointments for routine care. Telehealth resources are becoming the new normal.
Ask your doctor about options to schedule a telemedicine visit for your child’s next appointment. This is the ultimate social distancing measure to help avoid the spread of infectious disease.
For more information and asthma tips, check our blog for updates.
With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, most people want to avoid doctors visits at all costs. Unless you're critically ill, the CDC is asking patients to stay home until the peak of the viral outbreak is over.
Contact your healthcare provider to check to see if they are open for asthma follow up, and/or well visits. A large number of physician offices have appointments for televisits for prescription refills, and for evaluations of certain conditions during the coronavirus lockdown.
For asthma patients, however, not having access to rescue medication when you need it can be dangerous. How can you stock up on asthma medication to avoid exposure to the novel coronavirus?
Check out this guide on how to refill medicine during the COVID-19 crisis.
How Much Asthma Medication Do I Need?
The COVID-19 outbreak has no definite end date. Essential businesses like grocery stores and pharmacies are staying open but that doesn’t mean you should continue to go out like you used to.
Healthcare experts recommend that you get prescription drugs way in advance of needing them just in case there’s a shortage later or a more extreme shutdown happens.
In early March 2020, the recommendation was to get a 14-day supply.
Constantly changing lockdown periods are making things less clear. Is it enough to have a two week supply?
Dr. Peter Jacobson at the University of Michigan School of Public Health recommends getting prescription supplies to last several months in case there's a drug shortage down the road.
How to Order Asthma Medication
There are two ways to get your asthma prescription boosted during the coronavirus pandemic. One way is to contact your insurance provider to ask for an increase in prescription supplies.
The second method is talking to your pediatrician. Expect your insurance company to be wary about letting you stock up on medication.
Rigid refill schedules are in place to protect patients from prescription medication abuse.
Some insurance companies, like Blue Cross Blue Shield, are taking the lead and raising the refill limit before customers ask. Contact your insurer right away to learn what your options are.
Online Prescription Resources
There are online pharmacies and drive thru pharmacies available to fill your prescription order.
Getting your prescription filled online is a great option if you find a reputable source with licensed pharmacists in-house. Avoid any online prescription business where the pharmacist doesn’t require written prescriptions with a doctor’s signature.
No online pharmacy should sell you medication without a prescription or suggest their pharmacists can write a prescription after talking to you by phone. These organizations might be scams.
But online pharmacies are appealing if you’re looking to save money. The copays for prescription medication can quickly add up when you need more than a month at a time.
Filling your prescription online can mean big savings when you're trying to stock up on several months' supply at once.
Preparing Prescription Supplies for COVID-19
The COVID-19 lockdown makes all businesses vulnerable to potential shortages. With drug shortages a possibility, it’s important to be proactive to make sure your child has the medication he or she needs in case of an asthma flare up.
Don’t risk potential coronavirus exposure with frequent visits to your local pharmacy. Practice social distancing by using online resources or drive thru pharmacies when possible.
For more information and lifestyle tips, check our blog for updates.