Getting your kid to a doctor’s office these days can be challenging, even if they’re sick. Maybe you can’t get a lot of time off work, or maybe they don’t have very many in-person appointments available at your pediatrician’s office. Maybe your child needs a prescription refill or treatment for a problem they have had before. Maybe your kid is immunocompromised, and you don’t want to take them into a waiting room full of sick people.
How to Take Your Child to the Doctor Online
You should consider using telehealth services to see the doctor online. Telehealth or telemedicine uses video conferencing technology to facilitate medical appointments. You can see the doctor on your phone, computer, or tablet. Here’s how it works.
Make an Appointment
You’ll have to make a telemedicine appointment with your doctor’s office. If you need urgent care and your regular pediatrician isn’t available, you can use an online doctor like Plushcare. You don’t always need an appointment for these kinds of online telehealth services, and when you do, there are often appointments available right away, even when it’s hard to get in to see your regular doctor.
Prepare Your Equipment
When you make your telehealth appointment, ensure you know what app you’ll need to access your patient portal. You may already have access to your patient portal if you use an app like MyChart or FollowMyHealth® to view test results, make and keep track of appointments, or email your providers. You’ll need to use the patient portal app for your online doctor visit. If you’re unsure what to do, ensure the receptionist at your doctor’s office explains it to you.
You’ll need a smartphone, tablet, or computer for your video visit. You’ll need a strong wifi or cellular signal. You’ll also need some stuff to help the doctor examine your child. Grab a bathroom scale and a thermometer. You’ll need to weigh your child’s temperature to tell the doctor.
Don’t forget to test your equipment before the appointment to make sure everything works, and you’ll be able to connect with your doctor when the appointment time comes successfully. Test the camera, microphone, and speakers on your device. Ensure you give the app access to your camera, speakers, and microphone if it asks for them. Ensure you know where to go in the app to get to your virtual waiting room.
Write Down Your Child’s Symptoms and Your Questions
Before your virtual doctor appointment, write down your child’s symptoms and any questions you might have for the doctor. Writing things down beforehand helps ensure you don’t forget to tell the doctor anything important. You should also be prepared to take notes during the consultation.
Find a Quiet Place for Your Appointment
You should find a quiet corner with strong wifi or a good cell signal to take your doctor’s appointment in. Ensure you have good lighting and turn off the television and the radio. Have your child in your lap or right next to you during the visit, although young children can have a toy or book to play with. If your child is old enough, they can also talk to the doctor about their symptoms. Your doctor may ask you to examine your child and report your findings.
Get Your Treatment
Your doctor can treat a lot of things over a teleconference, so you may be able to get treatment for your child without going in. If you’re seeking treatment for something your child has had before, or you need a refill for a chronic condition you’re managing in your child, then you probably don’t need to go for an in-person visit. If you’re talking to the doctor because you’re wondering how to get antibiotics for your child, make sure you ask the doctor if a prescription is appropriate. They can send the prescription to your regular pharmacy.
Sometimes, a telemedicine visit isn’t enough to diagnose your child. Your child still needs to go to the doctor in person for vaccinations, checkups, lab tests, dental fluoride treatments, vision and hearing tests, and dental exams. If your doctor decides your child needs imaging or lab tests, they will give instructions on where to take your child.
How to Take Your Child to the Doctor Online
Taking your child to the doctor online can save you the hassle of going into the doctor’s office. Consider telemedicine the next time your child gets sick – and help them feel better faster.