If it has been a while since you have gotten a check-up or seen a doctor, the beginning of a new year is a great time to make an appointment to get checked out by a healthcare professional.

It’s important that patients continue to proactively manage their health, even in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Americans have had concerns about going to see their doctor since the pandemic first began in 2020. Getting a checkup is a simple thing you can do to avoid disease and stay healthy.

What to do beforehand

To get the most out of your next checkup, there are some things you can do beforehand as a patient:

♦ Know your health history. Your doctor will know how to better treat you if he knows a little more about your health history and your family’s as well. You should tell your doctor if any immediate relative has a disease or condition that was absent the last time you so a doctor. None of us lives in a vacuum and if you have a relative with a serious disease, that might also affect you. Conditions like heart disease, diabetes or cancer can all be influenced by family history.

♦ Is it time for any screenings? Remember, what you needed when you are 30 won’t be the same when you are 60. Depending on your age and sex, it might the right time to get a mammogram and othercancer screenings. Also, when was the last time you got a tetanus shot?

♦ Before you go, write down any questions you might want to ask your doctor. Don’t be afraid to let the doctor know about any health changes you might be experiencing since your last visit. Some of those changes might be physical. Others might be mental. Nevertheless, don’t afraid to speak up.

Options for Medicare Part B patients

Older patients who have been on Medicare Part B coverage for more than a year can schedule an Annual Wellness Visit with Floyd Primary Care. These visits give you the opportunity to discuss any healthcare issues you might have and also will help assess your overall health.

What the visit Includes:

♦ A review of your medical and family history, height, weight, blood pressure and other health measurements

♦ A list of risk factors and treatment options

♦ Developing or updating a list of your current providers and prescriptions

♦ Cognitive and functional assessments

♦ ♦ Depression screening

♦ Personalized health advice, including 5 and 10 year written preventive screening plans

What kids require

Well-child visits and recommended vaccinations are essential and help make sure children stay healthy. Children who are not protected by vaccines are more likely to get diseases like measles and whooping cough. These diseases are extremely contagious and can be very serious, especially for babies and young children. In recent years, there have been outbreaks of these diseases, especially in communities with low vaccination rates.

Well-child visits are essential for many reasons, including:

♦ Tracking growth and developmental milestones

♦ Discussing any concerns about your child’s health

♦ Getting scheduled vaccinations to prevent illnesses like measles and whooping cough (pertussis) and other serious diseases

If you prefer a Virtual Visit

If the act of driving to the doctor’s office and taking time off isn’t your thing, try a Virtual Visit. You can see your doctor at your convenience.

♦ No traveling is required.

♦ Childcare will not have to be arranged.

♦ The visits can be done from the patient’s home or office.

Not every reason for an in-person office visit can be replaced by a Virtual Visit, but this gives patients more choices in planning their health care needs. Patients can even arrange for their initial visit to a provider to be a virtual one.

Tifani Kinard is Administrator in Charge and Chief Nursing Officer at Polk Medical Center, a part of Atrium Health Floyd.


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