What You Should Know About Telehealth in the Era of COVID-19

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There have been dramatic changes to the medical landscape since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. One of the most significant changes that practitioners have experienced is an increase in flexibility in administering telehealth patient services.

What is Telehealth?

The World Health Organization (WHO) applies telehealth and telemedicine synonymously to describe the use of information and communications technology to overcome geographical barriers to patient care to improve health outcomes. This definition accounts for both clinical and non-clinical functions.

In telehealth appointments, you connect remotely with a provider to seek diagnosis, treatment, or monitoring of your health concerns. Telehealth is best applied in situations where you’re seeking follow-up monitoring on a pre-existing condition, or your symptoms aren’t emergent. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Telehealth

Like anything, using telehealth for patient care comes with pros and cons

Advantages of using telehealth include things like:

  • Increased health care accessibility.
  • Ability for greater collaboration among healthcare teams.
  • Decreased risk for exposure to unrelated illnesses like COVID-19.

Disadvantages consist of factors such as:

  • No physical exams performed.
  • Risks for delayed care.
  • Connectivity issues for patient or provider.

How to Schedule a Telehealth Appointment with Your Doctor

Telehealth appointments are generally booked by submitting a request through your provider’s patient portal or calling a medical office directly. Often, you’ll be required to complete some form of screening assessment related to your symptoms to determine whether a telehealth appointment will provide you with the necessary level of care needed for the condition in question. 

What Patients and Providers Say About Telehealth

Although it may seem like telehealth would make medicine feel less personal, a study by Massachusetts General Hospital found that 62% of patients surveyed reported that telehealth visits were as positive as in-person visits, and 21% said they were better than traditional appointments. Clinicians also reported higher efficiency, and more than half agreed that appointments were comparable to those conducted in-person.

Temporary measures were put in place to extend telehealth access to more people during the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, but many medical leaders are pushing for long-term changes. As the healthcare environment continues to adapt, the need for trained medical professionals — both clinical and non-clinical — will only increase. 

Sign up for one of our online courses, offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy, to find out how you can make money in healthcare from home, or contact us today to learn more about how our programs can prepare you to serve in this changing industry. Follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog to stay up to date on the latest trends in healthcare.

How to Protect Yourself From COVID-19 if You Share a Desk with a Coworker

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Shot of a group of businesspeople using their computers at a desk in a modern office

Sharing an office can be challenging under normal circumstances. Your coworker may leave the desk a mess, adjust the chair without putting it back, and constantly walk off with your favorite pens. Working during COVID-19 presents a new problem: how can you safely share a desk when you don’t know if your coworker is taking proper precautions? Here are three tips for protecting yourself in a shared office space, especially if you work a different shift, and you share a desk with another coworker who works an earlier shift.  

1. Keep Your Office Space Sanitized

Get into the habit of wiping down your desk, chair, computer keyboard, and other surfaces with Clorox wipes or disinfecting spray as soon as you arrive at work and before you head home at the end of your shift. These cleaning products will kill the vast majority of potential germs in your office space, which can significantly lower your fear of contracting COVID-19 at work. If you know your building’s custodian or the coworker you share your desk with well and trust them, you might consider working out a cleaning schedule to share responsibilities, but it’s usually a good idea to handle it yourself so that you know it was done right. 

2. Purify Your Air to Reduce the Spread of Germs

Because little is known about how long COVID-19 can live in the air, investing in a small air purifier can provide an extra layer of protection from viruses, especially if your shift begins immediately after your coworker’s. HEPA filtration is capable of blocking nearly all particles that are the size of the COVID-19 virus.  

3. Bring Your Own Office Supplies

Rather than trying to sanitize every pen, marker, and stapler in your desk, now is a good time to avoid sharing office supplies altogether. Consider storing a small bag of inexpensive personal supplies in your briefcase or purse to reduce the number of items you have to touch that may be harder to clean than larger surfaces.   

Sharing a desk doesn’t have to be unsanitary. Follow the Avidity Medical Design blog for more tips for managing COVID-19 risk.

Consider making the most of your free time by enrolling in one of our courses. Visit Avidity Medical Design Academy for more information on the following courses:

  1. “How to Prevent Medical Conditions Caused By TOXIC People in Your Life (and Be Healthier!)”
  2. “How to Make Money in Healthcare (Working from Home) (Full Time!)”
  3. “How to Protect Your Own Medical Identity (in 8 EASY Steps!)”
  4. “How to Learn Basic Medical Terminology (in 5 EASY Steps) (and USE IT in EVERYDAY Living!)”
  5. “How to Prevent Disease in Your Body (By Eating Fruits and Vegetables!)” and many more. Visit Avidity Medical Design Academy for more information and a complete listing of courses that are currently available.

5 Unusual Jobs That You Can Pursue in Healthcare

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If you love dance and want to help people, pursuing dance therapy is an excellent choice for you.

Are you thinking of working in the medical field? Is the challenge of going to medical school too daunting? Here are five unique medical jobs where you can help people and earn a good living. 

1. Dance Therapy 

Movement therapy facilitates the mind and body connection and is beneficial in treating a variety of disorders including autism, post-traumatic stress disorders, eating disorders, and Parkinson’s disease. 

If you love dance and want to help people, pursuing dance therapy is an excellent choice for you. The American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) offers a graduate program in this field. You get to work in a variety of settings including mental health facilities, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, and hospitals. The average salary is about $40,000. You can learn all about this career here

2. Clinical Ethicist

Healthcare workers face ethical dilemmas every day in their practice. If you are in the field of medicine, nursing, law, philosophy, or social science, you can expand your role as a clinical ethicist and provide expertise in this role, too. The salary range is between $40,000 to $150,000 depending on the level of responsibility you take. 

3. Medical Filmmakers and Illustrators 

Bring your technical talent in illustrating or creating film to help teach difficult medical concepts and procedures. As a medical illustrator or animator your salary range is impressive, starting at $62,000 and peaking at $175,000 with a supervisory role. You can freelance this as a side gig as well. 

4. Cardiac Perfusionist 

You might have started out pursuing biology as a pre-med career but decided that you do not want to move forward with it. Consider doing a certification in clinical cardiac perfusion, a job where you assist surgeons during open-heart surgery. You will need to complete 150 hours as a trainee before passing a certification exam offered by the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion. The salary range is between $60,000 to $100,000.

5. Hospital Cleaner 

Your job is fundamental in keeping the hospital clean and infection-free. The hospital can lose major funding as well as its patrons if it is not able to keep up with hygiene and safety standards. The pay range is $30,000 to $40,000, depending on years of experience.

To explore and learn about a wide variety of healthcare topics, please check out our online courses at Avidity Medical Design Academy. The courses are self-paced so you can access them at your own convenience. Visit Avidity Medical Design Academy to learn more about the courses we offer, including:

  1. “How to Prevent Medical Conditions Caused By TOXIC People in Your Life (and Be Healthier!)”
  2. “How to Make Money in Healthcare (Working from Home) (Full Time!)”
  3. “How to Protect Your Own Medical Identity (in 8 EASY Steps!)”
  4. “How to Learn Basic Medical Terminology (in 5 EASY Steps) (and USE IT in EVERYDAY Living!)”
  5. “How to Prevent Disease in Your Body (By Eating Fruits and Vegetables!)” and many more. Visit Avidity Medical Design Academy for more information and a complete listing of courses that are currently available.

10 Easy Things You Can Do To Keep Your Kids From Getting Car Sick

young-boy-smiling-while-sitting-in-car-seat-during-road-trip

If you plan to travel on July 4th, and you will be traveling by car, chances are, you may have a long drive ahead of you. The drive can seem even longer if you have kids who may be likely to get car sick, especially when traveling at long distances. Car sickness, also called motion sickness or travel sickness, is an illness caused by motion during travel. Movies make us think of projectile vomiting and absolute disasters, but car sickness is far more common than that; nearly every person will experience a mild form of motion sickness at some point. Unfortunately, the movies did get one thing correct—children tend to be more susceptible to car sickness than anyone else. Luckily, there are 10 easy things you can do to keep your kids from getting car sick, or resolve it if it happens during your trip.

1. SIT YOUR KIDS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SEAT.

Kids should always be in proper car seats, but for those prone to car sickness, center them in the middle seat. A clear view through the windshield helps them keep from getting dizzy during the trip.

2. GIVE YOUR KIDS RAW GINGER.

Raw ginger is a great homeopathic remedy to be taken if your little ones start to feel ill during the trip. Soothing the stomach without resorting to over-the-counter medicine, raw ginger is perfect for car sickness.

3. GIVE YOUR KIDS MINT LEAVES TO CHEW ON.

Thought to have soothing properties, mint can also help with stomachaches. Mint leaves are fun for kids to chew on, and it also helps cool the inside of the mouth. Mint leaves can be chewed continuously, before the trip begins until a few minutes before you arrive at your destination.

4. TRY DRAMAMINE.

Some kids need a little more to help fight back the nausea of car sickness. You can buy Dramamine over the counter and use it to prevent car sickness or use it as a remedy during car sickness. It can last anywhere from 4-6 hours.

5. PLAN PRE-TRIP MEALS WELL.

Plan the meals that you eat before you begin your trip. Avoiding greasy and spicy foods can help keep the stomach settled and can help keep the trip from going off track.

6. REDUCE YOUR KIDS’ SENSORY INPUT.

Focusing on a book or tablet while in the car can end up making kids dizzy. Dizziness and vertigo (while symptoms themselves) can lead to nausea and vomiting; even though the quiet is good in the short term, listening to audiobooks and music over the stereo is a safer alternative.

7. CIRCULATE FRESH AIR IN THE CAR.

The breeze in your hair, the smell of fresh cut grass… and also a perfect way to prevent car sickness. Removing stale air from the car helps decrease the likelihood that your kids may become nauseous during the trip.

8. GET YOUR KIDS TO TAKE A NAP DURING THE TRIP.

Napping has so many benefits: the peace and quiet, the easy drive, and the lack of car sickness. If you can get your kids to nap (and they will if they take Dramamine), they’ll likely wake up feeling refreshed and without stomach problems.

9. TEACH YOUR KIDS TO RECOGNIZE THE SIGNS OF CAR SICKNESS.

Better to overreact than under react; having your kids know the signs of motion sickness can help to prevent problems before they start. Even if they start out feeling alright, hours in a car can make even the toughest stomachs feel queasy. Having everyone know the signs can create treatment instead of cleanup.

10. PACK THE BRAT DIET AND INCLUDE HYDRATION.

Hours in a car plus no easy rest stops equals an empty and upset stomach. Packing snacks such as the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast), other bland foods (saltines or crackers), and plenty of water can ease a queasy stomach.

Family trips should be enjoyed—without a car sick mess. To stay up to date on the latest news in healthcare, and for more helpful tips you can use everyday, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog. To learn even more about healthcare, enroll in a course offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy, and get a 50% discount on select courses.

Changes You Should Be Aware Of At Your Doctor’s Office Due to COVID-19

Mature Woman In Consultation With Female Doctor Sitting On Examination Couch In Office

In this time of COVID-19, you will be seeing a number of changes when you go to your doctor’s office. Here are some changes that you will see so that you can be prepared and confident about your upcoming appointment. 

  • Telemedicine options – When you make your appointment, you may be offered the option of doing a visit from your home. This could be a phone call or a video call. Think about whether a remote visit could work for your situation.
  • Reminder calls – Many offices are using the reminder call to get an updated status on your health. They may ask if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or the flu. This will help them to prepare for your visit if you are concerned about exposure to the virus.
  • Signs at the entrance – Look for communication about prevention practices happening at your doctor’s office (wearing a mask, social distancing, etc.) and follow the requests. Staff may also be at the entrance and may take your temperature or ask about your current symptoms.
  • Waiting room supplies Extra disinfecting supplies and trash cans will be available. Make use of supplies if you need them. Extra cleaning for magazines, toys, etc will be taking place, but be proactive when you use these items. Clean the item when you are finished using them with the supplied wipes, etc.
  • Limit non-patient visitors – Only people who are part of the appointment should be in the office. This will minimize the number of people gathering in the medical facility.
  • Providing separation for patients with symptoms – If a patient is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, the staff will provide a prompt placement in a private room.
  • The exam room – After each patient visit, the facility will use EPA-registered disinfectant on the counters, seating, and exam table. Be assured that your health is protected at this point as well. Go ahead and have a candid conversation with your doctor about your medical concerns as you would at any visit. 
  • After-visit summary – Take home any information that the doctor provides at the end of your visit. These first visits during COVID-19 can be stressful, and this paperwork will help to remind you of what you discussed, course of treatment, and the necessary follow up for you.

These changes are new for all of us, so don’t worry if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed at your next doctor’s visit. The staff is there to assist you and answer any questions that you may have. So speak up if you need some help, and don’t be shy about bringing questions that you have thought about in advance. This will ensure that you are making the most of your visit, and taking the proper precautions to stay safe.

To stay up to date on the latest information on COVID-19, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog. We have several upcoming articles that deal specifically with COVID-19 in the healthcare industry. If you are interested in learning more about different areas of healthcare, visit Avidity Medical Design Academy. If you are interested in enrolling in our healthcare courses, you can view our courses here. Our courses are in a self-paced online format, so this is a great time to take that step for your career.

Health and Your Pets: How to Keep Your Pets Healthy During the COVID-19 Pandemic

couple-sitting-on-couch-while-white-poodle-sits-in-front-of-them-and-man-holds-dark-cat=on-lap

The case of a cat getting sick from COVID in Belgium and the sick tigers at the Bronx Zoo have made many cat owners worried about the potential threat to their beloved animals. There have also been cases of dogs testing positive for COVID but none, so far, have been sick. In all cases, the animals caught the virus from an infected human; there’s no evidence of cat to human transmission. However, experiments show that cats can transmit COVID to each other.

So, how much should you worry and what should you do?

What is the Risk to Your Pets?

Of the small sample of pets tested so far, none of the dogs had symptoms. Most of the cats also had no symptoms, and those that did experienced only mild illness. So far, there is no indication that there is a risk of a dog or cat dying or becoming seriously ill.

The only animals infected so far were all in close contact (i.e., same household) with a human with COVID-19.

What Should You Do to Protect Your Pets?

First of all, don’t panic. Although it is theoretically possible for a human to be exposed to COVID through a cat, there is no evidence that this has happened.

Second, take the following precautions:

  1. Keep your cat indoors (as you should anyway). Indoor/outdoor cats should be confined for the duration. If your cat is leash trained, take them for a walk but keep them away from other cats, dogs, and people.
  2. Walk your dog at a distance from other dogs or people. Even if dog parks are open, avoid them. Keep your dog home from day care.
  3. Have someone else care for your pet if you have been exposed to COVID-19. If you have COVID-19, or you suspect that you may have COVID-19, have somebody else take care of your pet temporarily, until you are given the all clear. Don’t pet, snuggle, or kiss your cat or dog until you have completely recovered. If you are quarantining in one room, keep your pets out of the room that you have chosen for your quarantine.

Keeping your pets safe during this time is as important as keeping yourself safe. Thankfully, infection of pets is rare and has yet to result in serious illness, so don’t worry, but do keep your pets away from other households at this time, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more informative healthcare articles, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog.

To take a healthcare course, visit Avidity Medical Design Academy.

Things to Consider When You Are Trying to Choose the Right Healthcare Plan

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You’ve just started a new job, and it’s time to choose a new healthcare plan. Your employer is offering you several plans to choose from. Here are some things to consider when you are trying to choose the right healthcare plan when you are starting a new job.

Start by reviewing the features of each healthcare plan, and then base your decision on a side-by-side comparison of the features of each plan. Then choose the one that best fits your needs. Key factors to consider include deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, whether the plan includes a health savings account, your status as an employee, health insurance networks, your family status, and your age.

Deductibles and Out-of-Pocket Costs

A lot of words are thrown around when choosing and discussing healthcare plans, and it’s important to understand what they mean. A deductible is an amount defined by your insurance provider. It’s how much you pay for your healthcare services before your insurance provider steps in. If your deductible is $1,000, you’ll have to cover $1,000 of your medical expenses, and then you’ll most likely only pay a copay for those covered services and your insurance covers the rest.

Out-of-pocket costs include your deductible, and they also include the cost of all services that aren’t covered. It’s important to analyze the relationship between your new salary and the out-of-pocket costs you may have. Analyze what you’ll be able to afford if you have a medical emergency.

Health Savings Account

A Health Savings Account, or HSA, is a hybrid between a high-deductible health insurance and a tax-favored savings account. Benefits of an HSA include less expensive health insurance, tax-free withdrawals, and tax-deferred interest earnings. Plus, unused money in your HSA isn’t forfeited at the end of the year. It continues to grow! However, you may pay higher out-of-pocket costs at first.

Employee Status

Employees that are higher up on the “corporate chain” may be able to renegotiate presented healthcare plans. If you have a higher-paying or higher-status job, and you aren’t happy with your current options, try discussing other options with your company.

Health Insurance Networks

Some health insurance policies have networks and won’t cover services provided out-of-network. If you’ve got a preferred doctor or specialist you or your family sees, make sure they are in the network of the healthcare plan you’re thinking about. If not, you may want to either switch plans or find a new medical provider.

Family Status and Age

Your family status, and whether you are single, married, and/or a parent, all influence what healthcare plan you might choose. Your personal health also influences your choice. If you frequently visit the emergency room, are expecting or want to be expecting a child, or you have a planned surgery upcoming, you may want a plan that has higher premiums but better coverage. If you’re close to retirement age, you may want to look at insurance plans that benefit retirees.

For more informatoin on healthcare, follow the Avidity Medical Design blog. To enrolls in an online healthcare course, visit Avidity Medical Design Academy.