When you are sick or injured, it makes sense for you to visit a medical clinic for treatment. The doctors and nurses there can diagnose and treat you. Unfortunately, though, visiting a medical center can come with some risks, one of which being infectious diseases. Contagious pathogens like COVID-19 and the influenza virus are sometimes present in medical centers. Although the personnel will do all that they can to protect you, there are also some things that you can and should do as a patient to reduce your risk of contracting a contagious illness.
Only touch the things you need to touch.
Many contagious viruses and bacteria can live on surfaces for hours, if not days. The medical staff generally sanitize surfaces, but they can only do this so often. If the last person who touched a certain surface was sick, then you can pick up pathogens when touching that same surface. So in general, it is best to only touch the items you need to touch. Don't read magazines; read your own phone instead. Open doors with your elbow, if possible. And if you have your own pen, use your pen rather than one that other patients have touched.
Wear a mask.
These days with the COVID-19 pandemic, wearing a mask in public has become more common. Many medical centers are requiring it. But even if masks are not required where you live, and even once this pandemic has passed, wearing a mask is a good idea. So many viruses and bacteria are spread through the air, and while masks may not be 100% effective, they significantly reduce your risk of illness, which is worth the small amount of discomfort associated with wearing them.
Keep your distance from others.
Try not to get too close to other people when you're at the medical clinic. Leave a seat or two between you and other patients in the waiting room. If someone is standing in line at the reception counter, stand a few paces behind them. Avoid close conversations with people — talk to them from a few feet away instead. This reduces the risk of transmission of diseases that can be spread via aerosol droplets.
If you follow the tips above, you can keep yourself safe from contagious diseases while visiting a medical center. While medical centers do a great job of cleaning to reduce the spread of infection, taking these extra precautions is also worthwhile.