The COVID-19 pandemic was a terrible experience that most of us hope to never go through ever again. But while it was scary and sad for many, it also brought a few positive things to light, and the mainstream adoption of telehealth was one of them. This awesome technology offers many great benefits to those who use it, and in the college world, it can be a lifesaver.
Let’s talk a bit about telehealth, why college students should take advantage, and a few considerations to keep in mind along the way.
What is Telehealth?
In a nutshell, telehealth is a method of getting medical attention through your computer, tablet, or mobile phone. Due to its popularity, people can talk to just about any type of medical professional, from doctors to psychiatrists, for at least an initial assessment. From there, you will be advised if you need to go to an in-person consultation.
On top of speaking with a doctor, telehealth platforms also allow you to exchange information, including upcoming appointments and test results. All of this avoids extra visits to physical medical practices and emergency rooms so those who need the most help can get service without delay.
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of telehealth is that it allows those in rural areas without a hospital nearby to get the same care that those in cities can access. This is a great benefit for college students as universities are spread all over the nation, with some more secluded than others.
Great for College Students
Beyond having almost instant access to medical care regardless of where you go to school, there are many other perks of telehealth for college students. For starters, even if you don’t have a computer, you can also chat with a doctor face to face on mobile devices, and you may even be able to do it from the school library. Even better, when you can skip the waiting room and go straight to the doctor, you may be able to fit in a session between classes.
When you are in college, it is all about the budget, and unfortunately, even watching one’s health is subject to how much cash is at hand. Luckily, as opposed to doctor’s visits that can cost several hundred dollars, a telehealth visit is often less than $20.
Telehealth is also exceptionally easy to use and takes a lot less time than the effort required to schedule a doctor’s appointment, drive to the office, sit in waiting rooms and make your way home. This is why many people avoid going to the doctor. However, you must get help if you have concerns, and this ease of use should make those in college more willing to reach out for care.
While telehealth is an incredible innovation, there are some considerations to take into account when using the service. For instance, you can only accomplish so much over video, and if you have a more significant medical issue, you will still likely need to see a doctor in person which will take time and money.
College students also spend a lot of time looking at screens for classes and homework, and telehealth is just another screen. The issue there is that prolonged screen exposure without adequate breaks can lead to blurred vision and nearsightedness, so protect your eyes by taking breaks every 20 minutes to stare at a spot 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
Finally, just like any online activity, what you do with telehealth is subject to theft by cybercriminals, so never share your telehealth password and make sure to always use a secure connection in a library or your dorm room.
For many college students, telehealth is a godsend. Use this resource whenever you feel ill and get the attention you deserve.
BIO: Dan Matthews is a writer with a degree in English from Boise State University. He has extensive experience writing online at the intersection of business, finance, marketing, and culture.