A health screening is a series of medical tests and examinations that doctors use to test for diseases and risk factors before patients develop any signs or symptoms. Early detection can mean that doctors are able to detect conditions in their early stages, allowing to treat them sooner, often meaning that treatment is easier and more effective. Additionally, doctors are able to identify higher-risk patients, allowing them to work on preventative measures before treatment is necessary.
What doctors will test for differs between individuals depending on age, gender, personal health history, as well as family health history etc. Typically, screenings will last between one and one and a half hours, taking a couple of minutes to fill in paperwork, and around an hour to complete all medical tests. However, the time taken may vary depending on the number of tests, range of existing conditions, and body type, as well as other factors.
What is community healthcare outreach?
During the recent times of change to our national healthcare system, it is necessary to note that, currently, some of our most effective health and wellness efforts are happening outside any doctor’s office or hospital. Community healthcare outreach programs help to connect health workers, community organisations, and health agencies to raise awareness of basic lifestyle and welfare problems such as diet, smoking, and lack of healthcare screenings that may increase risk of illnesses.
Community healthcare programs provide healthcare professionals with opportunities to target lower-income groups that may be less likely to otherwise receive healthcare and health screenings. By organising community-based healthcare programmes, health workers can work with individuals to set personal health and wellness goals, as well as increasing knowledge and understanding of topics including; diet, exercise, alcohol abuse, smoking, stress, mental health, and managing chronic illness.
Community healthcare outreach can connect patients with local facilities and resources such as reduced-cost primary care (access to general practice, community pharmacy, dental care, and optometry), educational programs, legal assistance, and access to food pantries. Health workers may also provide check-ins over the phone and through text message, improving community health in otherwise isolated communities without the need for hospital visits. Even if these communities are isolated by income and culture, rather than the actual distance.
What does a health screening include?
Your healthcare screening will be done in a number of stages.
- Your doctor will usually begin by measuring your height and weight to calculate your BMI.
- You will be asked about your lifestyle choices, including; questions about how active you are, whether you smoke (and how many cigarettes you smoke per day), your diet, and how many units of alcohol you drink per week.
- Your doctor will test your vital statistics including; a blood pressure test, a blood test to measure your blood sugar and cholesterol level, and a urine test to test for bacteria, infections, and sugar levels, as well as organ function.
- Additionally, your doctor may test for conditions such as; diabetes, heart and vascular diseases, and various cancers.
The healthcare screening also provides you with an opportunity to talk to your doctor about your results as you go through the tests, as well as gaining information and advice about any existing conditions.
Getting a health assessment
Your programme of assessment will depend on the package agreed by your employer. You may be able to ask your employer about what this will include, as well as bring up any concerns and ask for additional tests based on family and personal medical history. Patient doctor confidentiality is maintained as your employer will never receive individual results, only a snapshot of overall employee health.