The Health and Safety of Your Doctor During the Pandemic and How It Can Affect You

April 27, 2020

As COVID-19 continues to infect hundreds of thousands of Americans and the death toll related to the novel virus continues to rise, doctors and other health professionals work tirelessly to keep people healthy and safe during the pandemic.

Because doctors are at the epicenter of the coronavirus, they are one of the highest-risk groups of contracting the virus. Despite all the safety precautions put in place, health professionals are not completely immune from COVID-19. 

Let’s take a closer look at how American doctors are faring during the pandemic and how you can ensure that you’re getting optimal care.

How Are Doctors Doing During the Pandemic?

According to statistics from early April, the U.S. has only seen one doctor who has died due to COVID-19. While the statistics involving doctors and other medical front line workers in the United States are lower than other countries like Italy, it’s important to remember that the numbers may be outdated or under counted.

Overall, American doctors are staying healthy thanks to safety procedures and personal protective equipment (PPE), but if medical facilities continue to face shortages on essentials, like PPE, more doctors may contract the virus.

While doctors and other health care professionals are staying physically healthy during the pandemic, it’s important to consider that doctors are at a greater risk of fatigue, stress, and mental health challenges, all of which can lead to costly and even fatal mistakes.

Ways To Ensure Your Safety When Visiting the Doctor

Depending on where you live, medical care may be limited to emergencies or scheduled procedures like surgeries. Many general practice and specialty doctors are protecting themselves, and their patients, by replacing face-to-face appointments with telehealth appointments.

While telehealth appointments are the safest alternative, you may need to meet with your doctor in person. Here are some important tips for staying healthy and safe:

  • Follow your state’s recommendations for staying home or social distancing
  • If you’re feeling ill, consider staying home or talk to a health professional about your symptoms over the phone
  • Wear personal protection, such as a face mask
  • Check to make sure that your healthcare provider is following the CDC guidelines and recommendations

Even though many doctors are facing higher-than-usual levels of stress, you should still feel like you’re receiving quality care. If your doctor is acting strangely or doesn’t have the patience or compassion that they usually do, you can opt to end your care or seek out another doctor.

Depending on your personal preferences, there are many factors that make a doctor “good.” While some patients think that a good doctor should have a great bedside manner, others are more concerned with competency. 

Regardless of what you expect the care you receive from your doctor, you should never feel like your well-being is at risk. Remember that as a patient, you have the right to receive care that you deserve, especially during the pandemic.

*contributed post*

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