Sheridan – Local medical professionals share the importance of getting a yearly routine checkup.
Christopher Schamber, medical director of Sheridan Memorial Hospital, recommends that people come in each year to complete a variety of exams. During the exams, the doctor will review your medical history from previous visits and any hospitalizations or procedures.
They also carry out any necessary health care maintenance, such as vaccines.
“A lot of things happen for a period of time without any symptoms, like cancer,” Schumber said. “We want to find this issue before it leads to hospitalization or death.”
Schumber also uses appointments for regular patients to treat issues such as cholesterol or high blood pressure.
Schamber recommends keeping a list of medications and health history throughout the year leading up to the appointment.
“For older people, it’s a good idea to bring someone else along, such as a spouse, friend or child, because visits can be complicated and it’s hard to remember all by yourself,” he said.
While many health care checkups require routine care, iCare beats its own drum. Sheridan Eyecare Center optometrist Sam Hoffman recommends that children ages 1, 3 and 5 come in each school year.
Between the ages of 1 and 8, there is a lot of plasticity and the brain is still developing; So, they want to make sure the youngster can see equally well in both eyes. If not, the child’s brain will not develop properly and they will have difficulty seeing for the rest of their lives, Hoffman said.
Hoffman also recommends that children visit the school every year to make sure their eye health isn’t getting in the way of their schooling. Hoffman said that individuals who wear contact lenses should be seen annually to make sure they have good corneal health.
For ages 40-65, Hoffman recommends a visit every two to three years. For those 65 and older, Hoffman recommends visits every one to two years.
Between 20-40, Hoffman doesn’t see an urgent need for routine care. However, individuals who have health issues, such as diabetes, must come every year.
Eye pressure and general health are checked during the check-up. At this time, ophthalmologists will also prescribe glasses for those who need them.
“One of the things we screen for is glaucoma, and a lot of times you don’t find out you have it until it’s too late,” Hoffman said.
Sheridan Eyecare also attends to eye emergencies like pink eye. Professionals also check for cataracts before they become serious.
“In Sheridan, we have a cataract surgeon,” Hoffman said. “We are so lucky to have Dr. Walker, and he is phenomenal.”
Hoffman recommends making an appointment a year in advance.
“Sheridan just doesn’t have enough eye doctors,” Hoffman said. “We are often overwhelmed with patients and it can be very hard on the community.”
Sheridan WYO Dental Office Manager Kristin Hoxie recommends visits every six months for dental cleanings and other checkups. During the visit, routine dental cleanings as well as X-rays will be completed.
“Our dental cleaning is a professional cleaning. We can get into the deep tissues, and we can also check for any decay that is visible between your teeth and below the gum line that you can’t get to with your toothbrush.” Can do,” Hoxie said.
They also use X-rays to make sure there is no infection in the roots of the teeth and that everything looks healthy.
The Sheridan Veterans Affairs Health Care System takes annual checkups to another level by focusing not only on medical issues but mental health issues as well.
To meet physical needs, veterans must be enrolled in the program, and are advised to attend annually. To enroll, Sheridan VA nurse Cindy Songer recommends contacting eligibility teams who, if they were not enrolled, will be assigned a provider based on their needs.
Check-in begins 30 minutes prior to the nurse’s scheduled appointment. The nurse will address clinical reminders, such as smoking tobacco or alcohol use, and check vital signs.
The veteran provider will then ask questions of their own in addition to learning about any other outside providers or changes they were not aware of. They will also review labs that were requested a week prior to the appointment and review medications. The providers will also talk about any veteran concerns.
“You may think you’re feeling fine on the outside, but those labs can tell us more about what’s going on inside to prevent anything harmful from developing further,” Songer said. ”
Veterans are also associated with a patient-aligned care team. Each team includes a provider, a registered nurse, a licensed practical nurse, and a medical care group. PACT also includes mental health providers such as psychologists and social workers.
“One of the things we really value is mental health,” Songer said. “Psychologists and social workers will work directly with the veteran if they have a mental health issue and they won’t have to wait for an appointment.”
Songer said that the importance of checking up is not just checking off boxes but also reading between the lines. Songer said she notices if a veteran is just “off”. If veterans need care beyond what is provided by the VA, medical professionals communicate with specialists over video calls within the hospital or in the veteran’s home.
Medical teams believe that for a healthy person, patients need a whole team of medical professionals from different disciplines. That team may also include professionals in nutrition and spirituality.
From dental work to experiential care, annual check-ups of many kinds play a big role in staying healthy. The only routine checkup that doesn’t require annual care involves eye health. In addition to the focus on the medical picture, there is a heavy emphasis on the mental aspects, which is demonstrated through the Sheridan VA’s PACT team.
Marlee Graham is an intern at The Sheridan Press.