Telehealth Is New And Intimidating – But It Doesn’t Have To Be

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

It used to be when your child had a cough, suspicious fever, or weird rash you would take them to the pediatrician for an exam.

Well, not anymore.

With the rising digital age, modern advancements in medical equipment, and prevalence of deadly viruses, telehealth is the new normal for checking in with the doc.

What exactly is telehealth?

This form of healthcare is where you meet up with your doctor, nurse, or other medial professional virtually.

Video conferencing a medical emergency or concern can seem daunting and ineffective, but with the right preparation and knowledge you can get the most out of your screen time; hopefully finding the answers you need without ever leaving the living room.

  1. Have your device and setting ready

Each patient portal and video chat program has their own software requirements to operate it effectively.

How many of us have tried to open up a virtual meeting 5 minutes before it starts to find we need to upgrade our internet or download a program to enter in?

Eliminate some of the stress of trying something new by being familiar with the program and software you will need for the check up ahead of time.

Also, be aware of your environment prior to joining the meeting. How is the lighting? Is a pile of dishes your backdrop? What will your other children be doing during the discussion?

All of these factors can make a telehealth appointment informative or a train wreck.

  1. Be prepared to help with the exam

Think of the steps the nurse and doctor take when you bring your sick child into the office, and then try to be ready to do those things yourself to show the doctor virtually.

First step is vitals. You don’t need fancy machines to check your child’s pulse with a watch, counting how many beats the heart makes in a minute, and write down their temperature.

Dress your child lightly so it will be easy to undress them when appropriate.

Have their height and weight readily available in case the nurse asks as well.

These things could end up taking half the meeting and then you would be scrambling to blurt out all your concerns.

  1. Have a script

This leads us to the next tip. Write down everything you hope to convey to the doctor, and anticipate questions the pediatrician will ask.

What symptoms is the child exhibiting that have led to the meeting? When did the symptoms start? Is there anything new your child ate or has been exposed to that could have contributed to the current predicament?

The doctor will want to know if your child is currently taking medication, and if so what name and dose.

Have all this information written down in front of you so the appointment will be quick and informative.

Telehealth may become a better option for you and your family now and in the future.

You don’t have to worry about childcare, transportation, or having your kid touch every surface available in the waiting room.

Try telehealth out and you may find that it works for most visits, as long as you utilize the helpful tips enclosed.

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