When you’re feeling sick, the last thing you want to do is leave the comfort of your own bed. When you’re sick at home, you aren’t required to look presentable, or even get dressed. You aren’t forced to talk to other people or worry if you’re spreading your illness to other people, either. All you’re required to do is watch your favorite TV shows and rest. Unfortunately, if you need a doctor, staying in bed isn’t an option — at least, not until now.
Statcare offers online doctor appointments for anyone who can’t make it into one of our locations. An online doctor appointment is almost exactly the same as a face-to-face appointment, with a few key differences. If you’ve never seen an online doctor or want to know if it’s a good option for you, let us help you. Here are the reasons you might want to see an online doctor as well as the types of ailments they’re able to diagnose.
See an Online Doctor for Colds and Flu
Generally, we all recognize the common symptoms of a typical cold. You might be coughing every few minutes. Your head is probably pounding and your nose is either stuffy or running nonstop. Sometimes it’s both at the same time. Most of us have had a cold before so we simply need a doctor to confirm it’s nothing more serious. Fighting a head cold is the ideal situation to consult an online doctor instead of spending an afternoon in a doctor’s office.
Spend a quick 10-15 minutes on a call with your online doctor so they can confirm you’re suffering from a cold and suggest which medicines will work best for you. If, during your online doctor appointment, the doctor determines that it might be something more serious, like the flu, don’t worry. He or she will still be able to diagnose your condition and write a prescription for you right then and there. No need to leave your bed just to pick up a piece of paper. We’ll email you and your local pharmacy with the correct prescription and you or your family member can pick it up when it’s convenient. The whole experience should feel exactly like a traditional doctor appointment, just without all the waiting around.
Ask Your Online Doctor About Recent Labs or Medication Refills
Lab review and/or medication refills can be sent via an online doctor appointment. Normally, if you needed a medical expert’s opinion on a lab, you’d have to get dressed and go to a clinic. It is the same for medication refills. With an online doctor appointment, you can connect with a healthcare provider, get your questions answered and have your medications sent to a pharmacy of your choice.
Schedule a time to see an online doctor and you will get an uninterrupted appointment to express your concerns fully to your doctor. You’ll be able to ask questions, explore your treatment options and get any prescription you need from the comfort of your own home. All you need is a quality camera which most phones nowadays have and a reliable wifi connection.Your online doctor can diagnose your rash virtually plus give you a treatment plan without ever seeing you in person.
Infections Your Online Doctor Can Diagnose
Infections are perhaps the most common ailments that an online doctor can diagnose. While there are a variety of infections you may experience, a few of the most common can be diagnosed during an online doctor appointment rather than coming in for a traditional in-office appointment. Here are some of the most common infections our online doctors see.
Urinary Tract Infection
As with all infections, a urinary tract infection occurs when foreign bacteria enters your system. Symptoms of a UTI include painful or burning urination, cloudy or discolored urine, a more frequent need to urinate but only small amounts of urine produced plus shakiness and general fatigue. The higher into your urinary tract the infection goes, the more serious it becomes, so if you can’t make it to a doctor’s office, schedule an appointment with an online doctor as soon as possible.
A common cold and a sinus infection are hard to differentiate unless you are a trained professional. If you notice that the symptoms of your cold are starting to get more severe, it’s a good idea to schedule a quick visit with an online doctor so you can stop sinusitis in its track. You can take the online appointment during your lunch break, get your ailment diagnosed and the necessary prescriptions emailed to the pharmacy. No need to waste any more time before you start to feel better.
Strep throat can be a special kind of misery. You can’t swallow without a pain in your throat, your lymph nodes are swollen, it’s difficult to eat and you probably have a fever. Those are not the conditions anyone wants to have especially if there are kids at home or there are plans for travel. Especially if they’re going to a destination with other sick people. If you think you might have strep throat, schedule time with an online doctor to get the treatment you need without the risk of infecting others. You wouldn’t want to take strep throat with you on your vacation!.
Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is an infection in the outer area of your eye. It causes the blood vessels to become inflamed which gives it that pink (or red) color that it’s known by. Other symptoms include itchy eyes, discharge that builds up at night, an increase in tears. Pink eye is also highly contagious and the best thing you can do when you have it is stay home, away from other people. Obviously, that means that an online doctor would be your best option for treatment. In a single appointment, your online doctor can diagnose pink eye, write you a prescription and prevent anyone else from contracting it. Sounds pretty great, right?
Bringing a child who has an ear infection to the doctor is miserable for everyone involved. The child is crying in pain, the parents are frustrated with long wait times and wondering how many people in the waiting room are judging them for their crying child and more often than not it usually happens after the pediatricians’ office has closed for the day. You can skip all of that and simply schedule an online doctor appointment if you suspect you or your child has an ear infection. Normally, you’re looking for signs of pain in the ear, the child keeps tugging at the ear, hearing loss, drainage and a feeling of pressure inside the ear. If that sounds right, schedule an online doctor appointment to get diagnosed as soon as possible so your child can get the treatment they deserve right away.
Bronchitis & Pneumonia
Bronchitis and Pneumonia are an infection in the lungs caused by bacteria, fungi or a virus. Flu infections especially put people at risk for bronchitis and pneumonia. Symptoms of bronchitis and pneumonia include cough with or without sputum, fever, chest pain, aching muscles, difficulty breathing, and vomiting. If left untreated, the symptoms of pneumonia can escalate quickly, turning it from a relatively normal illness to a major cause for concern. If you think you might have a bronchitis brewing or possibly pneumonia but can’t afford to take the time off work to go see a traditional doctor, try scheduling an appointment with an online doctor. You can set an appointment up during your lunch break or your morning commute.
What Can’t an Online Doctor Diagnose?
There are some limitations to an online doctor appointment. Most notably, if it’s a medical emergency such as a stroke, a heart attack or a bleeding episode, you should go straight to the emergency room or urgent care to be seen by a full staff who can help you with whatever is wrong. Don’t wait for an opening in the event of an emergency. Also, any medical treatment or diagnoses that involves the use of medical equipment can’t be done by an online doctor.
That means if your ailment requires an x-ray machine or any type of scan, you won’t be able to get those right away while being seen by an online doctor. If your ailment requires a lab test in order to be officially diagnosed, you can get the order for those tests through an online doctor appointment, but you’ll need to plan to visit a testing center in order to get an official diagnosis. This is one advantage that Statcare offers because it has a physical office nearby where the X-Ray could be done or the lab tests performed if needed.
And finally, if you think you might have a broken bone, you should skip the online doctor and make an in-person appointment immediately. Your online doctor won’t be able to confirm whether a bone is broken nor will they be able to properly tend to a broken bone which usually requires some form of splinting or a cast. But for almost anything else you may need, your online doctor should be able to help you.
Plenty of patients are surprised how an online doctor is a quick, convenient alternative to an in-person appointment. You can make the appointment on your schedule without having to worry about wait times or a distracted doctor. During your appointment, you will have their undivided attention, which some patients prefer. The next time you’re starting to feel ill or think you need a doctor’s opinion to confirm your illness, try an online doctor. We think you’ll love the quick, convenient and thorough care.