When to See a Doctor
Any sort of injury that may not heal on its own, like broken bones, deep cuts, burns, infections or other injuries should receive prompt medical treatment. Some of the more common ways for injuries to occur at home are from burns, falls, and cuts from household items. Kids Health provides a guide on first aid and safety for situations you may experience.
A common place for injuries to occur is on the job, so you should check the plans for work related injuries with your employer because many have benefits or specific doctors they use. Write down the information in case you're hurt when your employer isn't there. If your employer does not provide aid for injuries, there are free or low cost clinics that can help you. Keep a list of the closest ones with you so you can be treated faster. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act)2 provides an injury recording guide for employers that classifies illnesses and injuries as well as how to file a work related injury report with OSHA.
If you think your injury was caused by non-safe working conditions that your employer knew about, you may want to let OSHA know about it. OSHA is a government agency that enforces workers rights to a safe workplace. Many times you can make a complaint without your name so your boss won't know it was you. You can read about what your employer is liable for and your rights as a worker at the OSHA Website.
Some illnesses are normal, like getting a cold or mild allergies. Some illnesses are more serious. You should see a doctor for an illness that has serious or severe symptoms. These might be high fever (any temperature over 103 degrees Fahrenheit) 5, dehydration (when you lose more fluids than you take in) 3, disorientation or passing out. Also seek help for an illness that doesn't improve or even gets worse after a few days. Children and pregnant women are really at risk and should see a doctor to rule out that their illness isn't something serious.
Preventive care is doing things that keep you healthy and keeps down your risk of illness or injury. 8
Children should see a doctor every year to record their growth and check for any problems that can be treated early on. 7 Getting your children vaccinated is very important! Not only do schools need children to be vaccinated to attend, but it could stop your children from going through the distress of many preventable illnesses. Vaccinations can prevent measles and chicken pox in most children.
Adults should also be vaccinated so they don't have to go through any down time. If you get sick, you might not be able to work or look after your children. A list of highly suggested adult vaccinations can be found at the CDC website. Preventive care is also getting health screenings for specific reasons, like for different types of cancer, diabetes and heart disease or checkups for pregnant women. There are also more general screenings like yearly exams to catch illnesses early or to suggest changes in your life and how you live to make you healthier. 8
One of the biggest things you can do is keep up a healthy lifestyle! This means eating a well balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise. Your doctor can recommend a diet and exercise program that's right for you.
||||This site was created by Kathleen Fischer in fulfillment of requirements for the course CSS 335: Latino Health Issues taught by Dr. Szkupinski Quiroga at Arizona State University, Spring 2007.|