Why is it important to have regular health check up or what are the benefits of having regular check up? What includes a regular check up and what are the reasons some people avoid it. Is it really necessary to have regular check ups?

These are the questions that I am going to be discussing in this topic. There are so much that has been said or written about this topic and I am here to shed some lights about it and answer those pressing questions.

What is regular check up? And how regular is regular?

Regular check up is a doctor’s visit that is required to be able for the provider to follow up on a patient’s condition/conditions. It is needed also if a patient has minor symptoms or becomes sick. Sometimes it’s necessary to follow up with a doctor to see if the symptoms are something to be concern about or not. It may also be warranted to see a provider as some medications may need to be adjusted or replaced. So really, the regularity of a check up depends on the provider’s input, patient’s health conditions and how often does his/her medication needs to be evaluated.

Now don’t confuse this with annual wellness tests or annual physicals as this involves a more thorough test and is longer. This is more of a preventive screening that involves in depth check of every body system.

What Includes A Regular Check Up?

  1. Obtaining height and weight.
  2. Obtaining blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, respiration rate and oxygen saturation which may be needed for some who has chronic lung condition.
  3. Asking about allergies.
  4. Gathering of health or medical history and family history.
  5. Verifying recent lists of medications.
  6. Most providers would and should be checking the lungs and heart by using their stethoscope which is called as auscultation. It is very important to do this test especially for patients with chronic health issues. It may include other parts of the body if so deem necessary for proper evaluation.
  7. Blood tests and urine tests. The type of blood test to be done will depend on patient’s health issues and what medications he/she is taking. But normally providers would like a complete blood count, Chemistry , blood sugar and cholesterol level test.
  8. During a regular check up, it is important to indicate to the provider any unusual symptoms or feelings, reaction or effects of medications if there’s any and asks as many questions as possible regarding concerns with regard to health conditions.
  9. Asks for referrals if needed as it is sometimes difficult to get a hold of providers after your visit as they see so many patients.
  10. Although it maybe in patient’s record whether a medication needs refill or not, it is still important to remind your provider as it gets missed sometimes. It’s best to remind or update them of your preferred pharmacy and their address as you don’t want to be picking up your medication that was called in to another pharmacy.
  11. If a Physical, Occupational or Home Health nurse continuation order or prescription is needed this is the best time to remind him/her of this as well.

What Are The Benefits Of A Regular Check Up?

  1. It helps identify potential problems at an early stage and may be able to get cured or prevented.
  2. It gives one, ideas on how his/her lifestyle is affecting his/her health.
  3. To be able to evaluate the effectivity of certain medications that are being taken.
  4. To have an over all idea of blood levels which will direct an individual to healthier diet regimen.
  5. Blood tests may shows health risk that may not have presented with symptoms yet which may be given a treatment before it gets worst.
  6. It is during regular check up where provider can give you referrals if needed and advise as to changes and directions one should take may it be through diet change or lifestyle changes.
  7. Regular check up in the long run will save one some money or health care cost as it will prevent hospitalization or emergency department visit thus prevention of serious condition will be entailed.
  8. Less family worries and less stress for oneself.
  9. Lesser chances of missing more time for work.
  10. More productivity with work and one’s household because serious illness was prevented.
  11. Avoidance of any debilitating conditions.

Who Are These Individuals That Avoids Regular Check Ups?

avoidance of regular check ups

  1. Those who smokes or drinks alcohol a lot, as they don’t want to be told to stop as they have developed the habit that is very hard to break.
  2. Those who takes drugs. Just like smokers they are not willing to stop the habit or they are not ready to address their addiction.
  3. People that are in deep depression. They don’t have the will to see their providers and these are individuals that has poor self-esteem so they don’t feel that they should take care of themselves.
  4. Individuals that are being abused. Sadly these are individuals that are scared to see their providers as they are very afraid of their abuser and may also be depressed so she/he has no will to take care of herself/himself.
  5. Workers that does not have health insurance. Majority of these individuals belongs to the low salary class so they feel that their health is only secondary from their basic daily needs.
  6. Those that believes in natural remedy or alternative form of treatments.
  7. People that has a mindset of being invincible. They are strong and has been working out so he/she doesn’t believe that a regular check up is necessary even though he/she has been diagnosed with a certain condition in the past already.
  8. Those that are worried about co payments. Believe it or not, there are still these kinds of individuals who are so worried about their co payments even though their health conditions warrants a regular check up.
  9. Patients that are simply non compliant or stubborn.

Situation:

Mr. Garcia (not his real surname) was admitted to the hospital due to fluid overload. He presented to the emergency department with difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, swelling of his lower extremities and abnormal blood levels. His Chest x-ray showed infiltrates on his left lower lobe and he is an end stage renal disease patient.

As soon as he got up to my floor, he requested for the charge nurse as he wanted the charge nurse to check the bill that he received on his prior hospitalization. He demanded to leave against medical advice if the hospital does not give him any reasoning as to why he was charge $171.00 because he stated that his insurance should be paying one hundred percent.

His kidney specialist made rounds and told him that due to fluid overload and abnormal kidney function tests, he will be required to undergo dialysis as soon as possible. The patient refused and demanded that he be credited that $171.00 or else he will be going home. As a charge nurse, I convinced him to go for dialysis. The doctor did also and so as the Patient nurse Liaison on duty. But no one can convince him at that time, including his wife who was timidly sitting on the corner.

Due to his condition, I contacted the business office and explained to them this patient’s concern in which readily they credited him so as he would comply with the doctor’s order. The patient was very thankful and right away we gain his trust.

Parting Note:

Health is wealth. And just like what Benjamin Franklin’s quote says “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure“. Thank you for reading folks. I hope I was able to clear some confusions and helped those that needs to be more in tune with their health. Please if you have questions and comments, please leave them down below.