Wednesday, July 29, 2020

As a consumer can I use public health services?

  • Yes! Most local and state health departments offer services such as vaccinations at discounted cost.
  • Check their websites or visit your local health department to obtain a listing of all services offered.
What public health consumers can observe/ask:

If you are taking advantage of services offered through your local or state health department:
  • Make sure public healthcare providers are cleaning their hands before and after touching you, even if they will be wearing gloves. It’s okay to ask them to clean their hands if you have not seen them do so.
  • During visits where you or your loved one may get vaccinations remember to ask if the needle and syringe have been newly opened for you; syringes and needles should only be used one time and on one patient.
  • If you are having dental work done at the local health department, ask how the instruments are cleaned between uses.
  • Ask about other services the health department provides that may help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
If you are given an antibiotic by a public healthcare provider, be sure to ask the following questions:
  • “Do I really need an antibiotic?”
  • “Can I get better without this antibiotic?”
  • “What side effects or drug interactions can I expect?”
  • “What side effects should I report to you?”
  • “How do you know what kind of infection I have? I understand that antibiotics won’t work for viral infections.”
What family members or other visitors can do in the public health setting:
  • Family members accompanying you and other visitors to the public health department should wear a mask to cover their nose and mouth if they have signs of a respiratory infection.
  • Practice good hand hygiene while in the public health department.
  • Make sure to cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing and promptly clean hands.

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