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Is It Safe to Go to the Doctor?

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7 Tips to Make Your Next In-Person Appointment Safer

Posted by Temple Health

You may still feel anxious about going into medical facilities because of COVID-19, and we understand that. But now that the COVID-19 vaccine is rolling out, we're getting closer to a “new normal.”

Until then, it's important to stay strong and healthy to continue caring for yourself and your family. That means resuming routine medical care, particularly for health needs like:

For many of our specialties, we do offer telemedicine appointments. But if your visit requires an in-person appointment, follow these 7 tips:

Tip #1: Make That Doctor Appointment

The first step to overcoming any anxiety about resuming your medical care is making the appointment. Pick up the phone or submit a request for your visit. The simple act of scheduling a doctor appointment may bring you relief and restore a comforting sense of everyday life returning.

Tip #2: Gather Information

When you make your appointment, ask where to park, where to enter the facility, and how to navigate to the department or office you need to get to. This will help you move efficiently through the building and can reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Tip #3: Wear a Mask

When you visit any healthcare professional in person, you should wear a mask — even if you have no signs or symptoms of illness. Wearing a mask can reduce the transmission of many bacteria and viruses — like COVID-19.

If you do not have a mask, you may receive one when you arrive.

Tip #4: Avoid Touching Surfaces and Your Face

As you walk through the medical office and perform check-in/check-out tasks, avoid touching surfaces as much as possible. Also refrain from touching your face — particularly your eyes and nose. Feel free to apply hand sanitizer or ask for a moment to wash your hands during your visit.

Tip #5: Maintain Distance from Others

Whether you’re waiting in a line or sitting in a waiting area, be sure to maintain at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and any other person. At Temple Health, we provide floor markings and signage to help you stay a safe distance away from other people.

Tip #6: Expect Your Doctor to Maintain Distance, Too

As part of our safety guidelines, Temple doctors and care teams will stay 6 feet away from you, except as necessary to perform physical exams. We hope this gives you peace of mind that we’re doing everything to make your appointment as safe as possible.

Tip #7: Take Precautions When You Get Home

Whenever you’ve been outside your home, you should observe some precautions to avoid bringing any pathogens (something that causes disease, such as bacteria or viruses) into the house.

A few things you might do at home include:

  • Leave your shoes outside, if possible.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Change your clothes immediately and consider washing them right away, too.
  • Wash cloth masks by hand or on a gentle cycle, and hang them up to dry.
  • Sanitize your wheelchair, walker, oxygen tank, or any other assistive device you brought with you.
  • Sanitize your purse, backpack, or other personal items you took with you.
  • Wash your hands again, after changing clothes and sanitizing objects.

As we all adapt to navigating our world during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to not neglect our health. By keeping up with routine doctor appointments and follow-ups, you can stay strong for your family and your community.

At Temple Health, we’re doing everything we can to make your in-person appointments safe.

Schedule an appointment today to get caught up with any routine health screenings, follow-ups or other health needs you have.

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