As many parts of the world continue to social distance and coming in contact with people becomes less and less routine, telecommunications have become the new normal. The healthcare industry has embraced telehealth and more patients are turning on their laptop and phone cameras to see their family doctor.
While both patients and doctors get used to these new adjustments, it can sometimes be difficult to know how to prepare for these types of appointments. Here are some helpful tips for preparing for your next telehealth appointment:
List Your Symptoms
A great way to prepare for an appointment with your doctor via telecommunication is by writing down your symptoms beforehand. Especially if you are feeling sick, it’s essential to provide your doctor with as much information as possible. A virtual appointment is much different from one in person. A doctor cannot do the usual physical examination checks to evaluate your symptoms, so writing down how you are feeling in as much detail as possible can help them give you a better diagnosis. Details such as how long the symptoms have lasted, medications you’ve taken, and sharing pictures of any visible symptoms can be especially helpful.
Find a Quiet Space
Before starting your video chat with your doctor, it’s important to find a comfortable and quiet area. This area should also have a strong internet connection. The last thing you want is for your doctor to mishear you or not be able to hear your doctor because the people around you are being too loud or your internet connection cuts out.
Discussing medical information should also be a private conversation between you and your doctor. This way you are able to be as honest as possible and not worry about people overhearing. A quiet area that is free of distractions can help your appointment feel more like a real doctor visit.
Ask What to Expect
When you make your telehealth appointment, be sure to ask your doctor or other staff what to expect. Ask them if the appointment will be conducted over the phone or by video chat, and whether you are to call the doctor at the appointed time or whether they will call you (more likely they’ll call you after they’ve finished with their previous patients). Also, be prepared, that the doctor may well need to examine you and then arrange blood tests or imaging. Many things can be done in medicine over the phone or video consult, but sometimes there is no substitute for a thorough physical examination. So, be prepared that although you’ve booked a telehealth appointment, you may need to come into the surgery.
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