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Health Screenings After COVID-19

written by Tessa Chatham Registered Nurse Written by Tessa Chatham Registered Nurse
Tessa Chatham Registered Nurse

Tessa Chatham Registered Nurse

Tessa is a MSN prepared Registered Nurse with 10 years of critical care experience in healthcare. When not practicing clinical nursing, she enjoys academic writing and is passionate about helping those affected by medical aliments live healthy lives.

Read more posts by this author.
reviewed by Ken Cosby M.D. Reviewed by Ken Cosby M.D.
Ken Cosby M.D.

Ken Cosby M.D.

Dr. Ken Cosby received his medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine (Washington, DC) and completed his research post-doc work at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health including the National Heart Lung Blood Institute and the National Cancer Institute.

May 28, 2021 Read Time - 5 minutes

*NOTE:  Due to a lack of scientific data at this time, PlushCare physicians do not prescribe ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, or azithromycin/other antibiotics to treat COVID-19.

Getting Health Screenings After COVID-19

As our lives were put on hold during the global pandemic, health screenings fell to the wayside.  While our healthcare system focused on COVID-19, things like routine health screenings have been delayed for many people. But now that we are seeing infection rates decrease, health screenings are being done once again routinely. 

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

PlushCare-App-Steps

What Is Health Screening? 

Health screenings involve the use of tests, physical examinations, or other procedures to detect conditions early in people who look or feel well. This is different from diagnostic tests, which are done when someone is already showing signs or symptoms of a condition or illness. 

The idea is that health screenings catch illnesses early in the disease process. A health screening is a preventative tool used to detect illness and disease at very early stages, making them more treatable with better clinical outcomes. 

The main preventative illnesses covered during health screenings include:

  • Certain types of cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis or weak bones
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Mental health conditions, like depression and anxiety

Some of the typical types of health screenings include:

  • General wellness visits
  • Diabetes checks
  • Heart health visits
  • Preventive screenings
    • Mammograms
    • Prostate exams
    • Colonoscopies

What Happens at a Health Screening?

Now that we are beginning to return to some sense of normalcy, health screening check-ups are being scheduled. During a health screening, you will get your vital signs taken that include your:

  • Blood pressure
  • Heart rate
  • Temperature
  • Oxygen saturation

Oftentimes, problems can be easily identified with vital sign measurements, which is why these are taken each time you visit the doctor. 

The doctor will perform a physical examination and health history report. At this time, you can tell the doctor about any past medical or surgical history you may have. The doctor may also ask you about your family medical history, such as if your mother or father had certain diseases. 

A physical exam is when the doctor uses assessment techniques to evaluate your organs and overall wellness. The doctor may listen to your heart and lungs with a stethoscope, check your pulse, and look for swelling or other signs of problems.

Your doctor may perform lab work at a health screening to check for abnormalities such as electrolyte, kidney, heart, or liver problems. Blood work can also check for infection, anemia, and diabetes. It is recommended that anyone 45 years or older get screened for diabetes, which is done with a simple blood test. After you get blood work performed, you will have a lot of information about your current health status.

Health Screening After COVID-19

The global pandemic has disrupted healthcare practice by forcing healthcare providers to focus more attention on detecting acute illnesses. 

Now that we are seeing a decline in COVID-19 cases, people are more comfortable resuming normal daily activities such as going to the doctor. Over the past year, so much time and attention in healthcare has been spent on COVID-19 and those who were infected. Now we can put the focus back on preventative care as infection rates continue to decline. 

Other important health-related priorities that can now be focused on include: 

  • Management of chronic symptomatic conditions
  • Prevention of cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer screenings in average-risk patients
  • Screenings or counseling for good health promotion

Health screenings are even more important if you have been infected with COVID-19 over the past year. Some prolonged complications have been discovered post-COVID-19 infection, such as heart, lung, and brain problems. Even mental health problems have been exacerbated by post-COVID-19 infection. If you were infected with COVID-19 over the past year, it is imperative that you get your annual health screening. 


Related: COVID-19 Depression


Health Screening Benefits

Health screenings are important because they can catch fatal illnesses early before it’s too late to be treated. Preventative screening procedures screen for preventable illnesses such as cancer. A mammogram is a preventive exam that screens for breast cancer, while a prostate and colonoscopy screenings are for prostate and colon cancer detection, respectively. Preventative screenings have been shown to save lives and provide higher-quality lives.

It is essential to get preventative screenings done so that you can catch problems early, making them more treatable. Health screenings are important because you can catch illnesses before they become advanced health problems. Stage I, in comparison to stage IV cancer, when discovered, may have a very different clinical outcome. 

The pros of getting a health screening far outweigh the cons. The pros of health screenings include:

  • Taking charge of your health
  • Preventing chronic illnesses
  • Preventing cancer
  • Managing current illnesses

The cons of health screenings may be related to the patient’s personal feelings, such as inconvenience or making them feel uncomfortable. These cons can be reduced by performing health screening with telemedicine applications and having the same doctor each year to build rapport with while providing a comfortable environment.

Getting your annual health screening is also beneficial psychologically as it provides a “clean bill of health” so that you will worry less that something is wrong with your health. Health screenings are now easier than ever with telemedicine.

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

PlushCare-App-Steps

Virtual Health Screenings

You can now do online health screenings through your phone, computer, or tablet. Telehealth platforms such as PlushCare perform health screenings and preventive questionnaires. PlushCare doctors can even prescribe lab work at a location near you and then go over the results together. 

When and how often you get screening tests may depend on your age, your gender, your health status, your risk factors, and the cost of testing. However, yearly health screenings are standard for everyone. Health screenings are available now after a long pause due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Book your appointment with a PlushCare doctor today here.


Read More About Health Screenings After COVID-19


Sources:

PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

InformedHealth.org. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Benefits and risks of screening tests. 2013 Nov 7 [Updated 2019 Dec 17].  Accessed on May 28, 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279418/ 

National Library of Medicine. Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien. Rethinking screening during and after COVID-19: Should things ever be the same again? Accessed on May 21, 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7430792/ 

US Department of Health and Human Services. Get screened. Accessed on May 7, 2021 from https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/topics/doctor-visits/screening-tests/get-screened

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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