When you’re feeling sick, going out and doing things (even if it’s just to seek treatment from a doctor) is not exactly at the top of your priority list. Whether you’re dealing with a cold, flu, strep throat, bronchitis, or other respiratory ailment, you’d probably rather stay in bed. For those days when fluids, bed rest, and a bowl of mom’s chicken soup just won’t cut it, you can always see a doctor virtually through telemedicine. A cutting edge use of technology that involves consulting with a licensed, board-certified doctor to receive diagnosis and treatment remotely, telemedicine is a fantastic way to get quick treatment (and any necessary prescriptions) fast. Here’s a guide to using it when you’re feeling under the weather.
Select A Telemedicine Provider
When you’re feeling under the weather, the last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time traveling around town or sitting in a waiting room/doctor’s office. Thanks to the miracle of modern technology, you don’t have to. Instead, you can seek diagnosis and treatment for your illness through the convenience of telemedicine. In telemedicine, you can select a licensed, practicing, board-certified doctor with whom to have an extended conversation (also known as the appointment or consultation) about your illness, treatment, and related concerns. Through a series of precise medical questions and a discussion of symptoms/ previous treatments, the doctor can assess and determine if you need a prescription or any kind of medication. All of this can easily be accomplished via a telephone call, online chat, or other electronic means. It’s private, safe, secure, and a very convenient way to see a doctor remotely.
Book An Online Appointment
After you’ve found your telemedicine provider, it’s time to book that appointment! Doing so is pretty easy. Most telemedicine providers have a user-friendly and well-designed website/web portal that enables you to sit down at your phone or computer and start booking your appointments. More than likely, you will be given a set of available times – typically in 15 minute increments – in which you can set your appointment. Once you’ve booked your time, you’ll be confronted with a questionnaire to fill out regarding your medical history and the reason for your visit today. You also have to answer questions about any medications you are currently using or have used in the past, along with listing any pre-existing conditions. Finally, you’ll be prompted to enter the details of where you would like any prescriptions to be sent. That way, you can pick up a prescription after the appointment at a convenient local pharmacy without the hassle of waiting several days or traveling a far distance.
Participate In An Online Consultation
Once you’ve booked the appointment, you’ll do your online consultation. If you’re dealing with a cold or flu, tell the doctor about it. Be incredibly specific. When did your symptoms start? How long have they been troubling you? What type of medicine have you used to treat it? Have you been around others at school or work? How do you feel? A vague statement like “I don’t feel good” isn’t going to help the doctor diagnose you or determine a treatment plan. Throughout the conversation, the doctor will listen and provide guidance for how to proceed. Following the consultation, you’ll usually receive a document outlining your treatment with a detailed list of any medications and instructions the doctor is prescribing for you.
Find Out What They’re Allowed To Prescribe
Choosing an online doctor will require some research on your part. Some of that research should involve speaking with the provider directly to find out what kinds of medication they might prescribe for your condition and what they’re prohibited from prescribing (usually narcotics and controlled substances). If you’re dealing with strep throat, the doctor might prescribe antibiotics. For the flu, there are four antiviral drugs that doctors occasionally prescribe (they’re not sold over the counter) for severe cases. For colds, doctors will usually recommend some bed rest, fluids, and maybe over the counter meds instead of a prescription drug. Ultimately, it just depends on what the doctor determines during the consultation.
Get Your Prescription
If your doctor decides to prescribe something, it’s pretty easy to get your prescriptions online. Remember during the initial setup for your online appointment when you told the provider what pharmacy you prefer? Well, the doctor will send your prescription electronically to the pharmacy so that it can be filled following your appointment. It’s really that simple and easy. All you need to do is pick it up when it’s ready. The pharmacy will typically notify you throughout the process when they receive and fill the script. If you need a refill down the line, you may be required to seek another consultation depending on your provider’s set up and applicable state laws. But all things considered, getting a prescription online is the epitome of convenience and a fantastic way to make modern medicine more accessible to all.