What Can You Expect At A Preventative Care Visit?
If you have health insurance, your insurance provider will likely require you to have preventative care visits once a year. These visits are intended to help keep you healthy and reduce your risk of developing a future ailment or injury. But what exactly happens at a preventative health visit? Here's a look at the key components.
Height and Weight Assessment
These appointments generally start with measuring your height and weight. Based on your weight-to-height ratio, the doctor may recommend that you attempt to lose or gain weight. The idea here is not to body-shame you but rather to help ensure that your weight does not become a factor that increases your risk of diseases like heart disease.
If you are not up to date on your vaccines, then your doctor may administer them during your preventative care visit. Vaccines help protect you against contagious diseases. Many adults need tetanus boosters. You may also need a flu shot, a shingles vaccine, or a pneumonia vaccine, depending on your age.
At a preventative care visit, your doctor will probably also ask you some questions about your diet and lifestyle. They'll want to get a general idea of what you eat, how much you exercise, and how much sleep you get. Based on your answers, they might make some recommendations for lifestyle changes you can make to improve your health. Or, they may refer you to a dietitian or physical therapist for more specialized guidance.
Vital Sign Assessment
Your doctor will also listen to your heart, take your temperature, measure your blood pressure, and observe your respiratory rate. If they notice anything is amiss, such as if your blood pressure is high, they may recommend making some life changes. The goal of these changes will be to bring your vital signs back into a healthy range so you aren't at risk for other problems, like heart disease or stroke.
There are various health screenings that are recommended based on your age. These include colonoscopies, PAP smears, and mammograms. These screenings are not typically performed at a preventative care visit since they need to be done at specialized offices. However, they are often scheduled at the end of your visit so you don't forget about them.
Preventative care visits are important for your ongoing health. So, don't skip these visits, and make sure you take your doctor's advice seriously.