In this guest post, Dr. Brent Wells, DC discusses what chiropractic clinics and patients should do as clinics begin to open up after COVID-19. Dr. Wells founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years.
By Brent Wells, DC (Better Health Chiropractic)
As chiropractic clinics start to open back up, many patients might feel a bit hesitant to make an appointment. How will the clinic protect them? What steps are chiropractors using to keep things safe? Below are some ways that chiropractors can ensure patient safety amid this troubling pandemic.
How Chiropractors Can Ensure Safety During the Pandemic
Keep Clinics Spotless
One way chiropractors can guarantee patient safety is to keep clinics clean. This includes making sure to regularly sanitize the building, including high-touch areas, such as door handles, tables, keyboards, and pens. The cleaning should be done with gloves and with a strong disinfectant, such as bleach. Always check to verify that the disinfectant is designed to be used in a public facility. Otherwise, it might not be effective.
In addition to this, rather than doing tasks on the spur of the moment, chiropractors should create a maintenance plan. This will help them to stay organized with the cleaning process and make sure that every inch of the clinic is ultra-clean.
Make Sure Proper Sanitation is Used
Chiropractors understand how important it is to use proper hygiene, especially during this time in history. Despite treating numerous patients, chiropractors need to make sure to wash their hands multiple times before visiting patients. Some might also use disposable gloves as an extra precaution.
Clinics should also offer hand sanitizers in various areas. This way, patients will have easy access to clean their hands. Some might also ask that patients use it before they enter the building and right before they leave.
Have Employees Get Regularly Tested
Another way chiropractors can help make sure patients stay safe is to have workers get regularly tested. This way, chiropractors can check that their team is completely free from this virus.
Space Patients and Workers Six-Feet Apart
To help with patient safety, chiropractors should make sure that patients and workers are spaced at least six feet apart. This can be accomplished by positioning chairs at this length, using markings on the floor, and making sure to put up signs to remind people of this social distancing practice.
Despite now being an important part of our daily life, many people still forget to wear their masks. It’s important to make sure to offer disposable masks in the clinic that can be given to patients if they don’t have one. Ideally, set these up at the entrance so they can easily be taken.
Use an eCheck-In
To help protect everyone, eCheck-Ins might be good to implement. Rather than using traditional pen and paper for clients to sign forms, an eCheck-In will help to limit exposure to others while making the check-in process go faster. Medical professionals can use a device that has this feature built into it or build a portal on their website that clients must sign into.
What Can Patients Do?
If you want to make sure you’re well protected at a clinic, you can do a few things to ensure your own safety.
Wear a Mask
It’s crucial that you wear a mask for your visits. Studies have shown that wearing masks can help to stop the transmission of this nasty virus. Cloth and paper masks are affordable and effective ways to help protect yourself. While you can buy or make your own, you could also use a bandana, scarf, or hand towel. Keep in mind that stretchy materials, especially those that are knitted, aren’t good because they have large holes in them. This can cause you to breathe in airborne germs. When wearing your mask make sure it’s big enough to cover both your nose and mouth.
Stay at Home if You Feel Sick
If you are sick or even feel a little under the weather, stay home. This will help to protect you and others. Some common signs that you might have this virus include:
- A fever
- Shortness of breath
- Body aches
- Sore throat
Use Hand Sanitizer
While washing your hands the old-fashioned way is important, regularly using alcohol-based hand sanitizer after touching items in public is crucial to help keep you healthy. You’ll want to make sure the hand sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol or it won’t do a good job removing germs.
What to Expect at Your Chiropractor’s Office
You might notice some major changes at your chiropractor’s office.
For some clinics, patients might have once been able to make a walk-in appointment. However, to help better serve clients, you’ll need to make a reservation well ahead of time. This will help chiropractors to make a detailed schedule of when certain patients will arrive and can help them limit the number of people in the building at once.
The reservation form might also ask if you have any special requests or medical conditions. This can help your medical professional to better figure out safe ways to serve you.
A Slightly Longer Wait
To help keep you safe, you might find that you need to wait for your appointment a little longer than usual. This is because the staff will need to thoroughly sanitize the room before you enter it.
Many chiropractors now offer telehealth options, especially for those who might be a little skeptical about visiting the clinic right now. But what do chiropractors treat via this method? While this option can’t do full treatment for you, it’s perfect for those who have already had treatments and need to discuss their current health with a chiropractor. By describing your symptoms, your chiropractor can help to identify possible causes and give you some stretches and exercises to try.
Another change at chiropractic clinics will be multiple signs indoors and outside it. These visual guides will help to guide you as to the steps that need to be taken for your visit. Many will also show symptoms of COVID-19 and request that if you have them to not enter the building.
COVID-19 has completely turned our lives upside down, especially in the health field. While these essential industries require people to be in close contact with each other, medical professionals can use the information above to make sure their patients stay safe.
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. His practice has treated thousands of patients from different health problems using services designed to help give long-lasting relief.
Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe, Organic Facts, and Thrive Global. He is a proud member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.