You can postpone a lot of your plans and activities during COVID-19, but you can't just pause your health.
How are you supposed to stay home and keep up with your doctor appointments at the same time? You can do everything you would usually do in the office at home during an e-visit—all it takes is a bit more prep work.
We've put together this guide to help you learn how to get ready for your first virtual doctor appointment, so let's get started!
You'll need to have everything you need for your appointment set up at least 10 to 15 minutes before it starts. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you're getting ready.
Pick a quiet, out-of-the-way place in your home to hold your e-visit.
Do your best to get away from noisy children, TVs, roommates, etc.Otherwise, you'll have a hard time hearing your doctor, and they might struggle to understand what you're saying, as well. This can lead to miscommunications or, at the very least, make your appointment difficult.
You should also make sure the place you set up has plenty of lighting so your doctor can see you. This is especially important if you need to show them a physical symptom or injury on your body.
You'll need a computer, tablet, phone, or another similar device to connect to the video chat. Make sure whatever you use is fully charged before the appointment, or choose a spot with an outlet so you can keep it plugged in during the visit.
If you don't have a strong internet connection, plug your device into an ethernet cable if possible. This will help prevent your video from cutting out while you're talking.
Do you take any medication or use any medical devices? Make sure you have these on hand during your appointment. As you're talking to your doctor about your symptoms, you can use these to better explain your condition or describe how you manage it at home.
Spend some time before your appointment writing out a list of symptoms. It's a good idea to have these on a piece of paper in front of you so you don't forget to mention anything important.
Do you have other pre-existing conditions?
Make sure you list these out, as well. Even though they may seem unrelated to you, there could be a connection. Your doctor won't be able to get the full picture and give you a correct diagnosis unless you're honest about what you're experiencing.
So don't be embarrassed.No matter what type of symptoms you're dealing with, your doctor will listen to you without making your feel uncomfortable.
Figure out a few questions you want to ask about your health or your symptoms and write those down, too. As you start talking to your doctor, you can easily forget what you wanted to know before the appointment.
If your doctor ends up answering the questions without you having to ask, that's okay. You may also think of more questions as you chat, so keep a pen nearby so you can write them down as you go.
Adjusting to virtual appointments is a big change for both you and your doctor. You're both learning how to make it as smooth as possible, so be patient with your doctor. If they have trouble connecting or if something happens during the call, remember, they're new to this, as well.
And don't be surprised if your call freezes or cuts out in the middle. If you (or your doctor) have poor internet or have a lot of people using it at once, that can happen.
Stay calm and wait a few minutes. Your doctor will call you back right away.
Your doctor may have you schedule a follow-up appointment in person with your general care physician if some tests need to be ran or if your symptoms warrant an up close visit. Don't be surprised if this happens. Your telehealth doctor isn't trying to make you go out of your way. They're simply doing what they can to give you the best care possible.
There's no reason to be nervous about your medical e-visit. As long as you're prepared and patient, the appointment can be just as helpful as an in-person visit.
Not sure where to find a virtual doctor?
We've got you covered.Our team will help you find the right doctor for your needs, and you can do it all from the comfort of your home!