May 13, 2020
Self-health Check Tips
Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP
With many Americans hesitant to seek health care during the COVID-19 pandemic for all but pandemic-related symptoms, it’s important to stay in touch with your own health. Primary care providers, including nurse practitioners, are now treating patients using telehealth — which is an excellent option for patients requiring chronic disease management and routine care. As always, if at any point you experience severe symptoms, it’s time to contact your primary care provider or seek emergency attention at an urgent care center or hospital.
During this period of stay-at-home orders, there are several health checks you can perform at home to monitor the state of your own health.
- Heart rate. To check your heart rate, place your finger on the inside of your wrist while resting and count the number of pulses for 10 seconds. Take that number and multiply it by six, which will give you your heart rate. An average healthy resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
- Oral health. Check the inside of your mouth for abnormal bumps or sores that don’t heal within a reasonable time or that reoccur consistently.
- Moles. Having moles is very common, but sometimes they can be a warning sign for a more serious condition, like skin cancer. Check moles regularly for any changes in size, color or shape.
- Bowel movements. Everyone’s bowel movements are different and are affected by a variety of factors. Monitor frequency and changes in consistency, and if any changes last for a sustained period, contact your primary care provider.