August 23, 2023

Establishing a relationship with your Primary Care Team will help to prevent, catch, and identify conditions or concerns before they take a turn for the worse.

As school starts back up and the summer heat (very) slowly starts to lift, August is often the time of year where people start to get back into their routines. Food prep, to-do lists and chores fill our schedules as we settle back into our regular structure.

In the middle of it all, some of us must focus on getting our little ones to the doctor — whether it is for sports physicals or updated vaccinations. It can all be a bit chaotic.

During the chaos, it is easy to forget that we should be on top of our own preventive care. Here are a few simple to-dos to add to your end of summer checklist to make sure you are taking care of yourself amidst the hustle and bustle of getting your family back into a routine.

Get familiar with your benefits.

Our human resource teams work extremely hard to provide us with all the information we need to use our medical plans well. Take some time to get familiar with the benefits your company offers by reviewing your Benefit Guide.

Remember — it is ok to ask questions. Reach out to your HR department with any specific questions or concerns you may have. They are the experts on these medical plans, and they are there to assist you.

Establish a Primary Care Provider.

Through your insurance carrier’s portal, you can find recommended in-network doctors near you. Finding the right Primary Care Provider (whether that be an MD, PA, or NP) is a big step — they are the person on your medical team that understands the “big picture” of your health.

For any football fans out there, you can think of them as your healthcare quarterback. Primary care experts ensure you stay on top of preventive care activities based off your personal history and risk factors.

Establishing a relationship with your Primary Care Team will help to prevent, catch, and identify conditions or concerns before they take a turn for the worse.

Schedule your appointment.

Get it on the calendar! I know, it sounds almost too simple, but calendar reminder helps us stay accountable, even if we have to reschedule it. Make it a priority to know when you are going to see your primary care provider next.

Having your appointment scheduled (even months to a year ahead of time) will help to make sure that your care doesn’t fall by the wayside amidst all the other school year to-do’s.

Collect your medical records/medication lists.

This tip is especially important if you are establishing care with a new provider. Create a list of medications, vitamins and supplements you take on a regular basis. Next, track any allergies, chronic conditions and personal/family history. Having this info your fingertips makes preliminary paperwork a breeze.

A few minutes ahead of time will go a long way toward making that next visit to the doctor’s office much less overwhelming! So, take 10 minutes the evening or morning before your appointment to consolidate all your important information in one spot — whether it’s a notepad or on your phone.

Build a question list for your doctor.

In the middle of life’s busiest days, you might get a weird pain or issue you want to discuss with your provider. But by the time we get to the office that may be forgotten. There have been countless times I have left the doctor’s office and thought “dang, I forgot to ask them about that!”

It is critical to address if there have been any isolated or chronic events since you saw a provider last. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to take an inventory of the past year’s trends:

  • How has your mental health been over the last year?
  • Have you felt overwhelmed or anxious? Has this been distracting to your everyday life?
  • Are you dealing with any sort of acute or chronic pain?
  • Did this pain come on after an injury or accident of some sort?

This inventory can help your next appointment truly benefit you and address your needs — no matter where you find yourself this time around.

Remember, our little ones are not the only ones who need their checkup this year—we adults need to take care of ourselves too!

Weekly Recipe

Blue Smoothie

Jordyn Schwerin, RN

Authored By

Jordyn Schwerin, RN

Kinetiq Health Program Manager

As a Kinetiq Health Program Manager, Jordyn works to create customized and unique wellness solutions, aiming to improve her clients’ overall health and quality of life. Her responsibilities include collaborating with client wellness teams and hosting one-on-one client meetings to communicate and implement wellness plans based on specific needs.

Meet Jordyn