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Questions for the CCH Experts: Is it safe to go to the doctor

Questions for the CCH Experts: Is it safe to go to the doctor

We asked members of our medical staff to answer some common questions they hear from their patients. Read Amy Hawk's, APRN, answer to: I’m concerned about going back to my doctor. Is it safe?

A: The short answer is yes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused nearly 1/3 of United States adults to postpone routine medical care, according to a survey conducted in April of this year by The American College of Emergency Physicians

Another survey from The Kaiser Family Foundation released in May reported that 48% of Americans have a family member who delayed care during the pandemic.

CCH, as well as most other hospitals across the nation, cancelled elective surgeries and limited outpatient visits for several months.

People with chronic health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and high blood pressure need regular visits with their healthcare providers to follow their treatment plan and keep diseases from advancing. Delaying care for recommended health screenings and immunizations can result in more serious problems down the road. Catching a health problem in the early stages is always better for the patient. And, seeking care quickly in the clinic, urgent care or emergency room can be the difference between life and death.

We’ve had to make some changes in how we provide care as a result of the pandemic in order to improve patient and staff safety. These changes include screening everyone at all entrances, temperature monitoring, requiring everyone wear masks while in CCH facilities, providing cloth masks for visitors if needed, practicing social distancing in public areas, maintaining visitor restrictions and cleaning all surfaces to the highest medical standards.

Patients also have the option of a virtual (video) visit using a computer or mobile device. We were able to roll out this new technology in April, and this type of visit has worked well for many appointments. Call your provider if you have questions about how to schedule a virtual visit. Complaints such as chest pain, serious injury, difficulty breathing, and severe abdominal pain require an urgent/emergency room visit.

If you have been putting off a visit to the doctor, a routine check-up, annual physical examination, laboratory testing, previously scheduled procedure, or for further questions regarding risks of COVID-19 and visiting our hospital or clinic, please contact your provider’s office. They can help weigh your personal healthcare risk and avoid further delayed diagnoses.

Don’t delay your medical care. CCH is open, safe and ready to see you.

Stay on track with preventative screenings like mammograms, annual physicals and follow-ups with your medical provider if you have a chronic health condition. With enhanced cleaning, screening of every patient and our employees — it’s a safe time to continue with your medical routines.

Call your healthcare provider to learn more or visit www.cchwyo.org/findadoc to find your provider or clinic.

For medical emergencies, call 911. If you are in crisis and need to talk to a counselor, please call 307-688-5050.

Amy Hawk, APRN, works at the Campbell County Medical Group Complex Medicine Clinic located on the third floor of Campbell County Memorial Hospital, 501 S. Burma Avenue in Gillette, Wyoming. Complex Medicine provides adult medical care for patients with chronic medical conditions, treatment of day-to-day concerns and preventative checkups. Call 307.688.3535 for an appointment. Learn more at www.cchwyo.org/cm.