After Hours Home Doctor
How a home doctor looks after patients after-hours
Written by the home doctor team.
Getting sick outside of our regular GP’s opening hours isn’t the ideal situation, but of course it does happen from time to time. So, instead of getting treatment from a doctor you know and trust it’s very likely you might have to find a way to access healthcare after-hours.
Unlike regular GP’s, after-hours practitioners (or home doctors) treat patients in their own home when most medical centres and clinics are closed. It doesn’t mean that these same doctors don’t work at hospitals or clinics during the day, it just means they choose to work for an after-hours service to treat urgent medical cases late at night.
Prior to World War II, a large portion of a doctor’s work would be made up by visiting their patients at home. Yet since then, the rate of home visits slowly decreased until the late 1960s.
As medical technology became more sophisticated, doctors transformed how they work and got rid of the home visit, which meant that Australians were made to visit the doctors much like many do around the country today.
Our home doctors have refreshed the home visit of yesteryear, and now after-hours healthcare is always available to deal with modern Australians’ urgent medical issues.
Patients who are treated at a home visit are often suffering urgent or severe symptoms. That mean they can’t wait until the next business day to see a medical professional.
The most common patients after-hours GP’s treat are the most vulnerable members of the community, including babies and the elderly. Home doctors are known to have empathetic bedside manner and a great ability to calm caregiver’s nerves, while effectively treating a sick patient.
The service emerged as emergency room numbers were rapidly increasing and staff were struggling to keep up with the demand of urgent and moderately severe cases.
With the additional pressure placed on hospitals, they had to prioritise the treatment of life threatening illnesses, causing longer wait times and patient dissatisfaction.
Home doctors understand that some illnesses are serious enough to require immediate treatment, but not serious enough that you need to call an ambulance.
A visit from a home doctor fills the gap between GP’s and the emergency room, ensuring that you receive the correct medical care when you need it.
The home doctors can treat many illnesses, some of the most common include:
- · Acute respiratory illness
- · Asthma
- · Gastro
- · Unusual sensations
- · Aches, pains and sprains.
Diagnosis and treatment
When a home doctor arrives, you will be examined and asked some questions. This helps the medical professional determine a diagnosis.
Once a diagnosis has been formed, the doctor will recommend treatment or suggest some things you can do to provide relief for your symptoms. As treatment is important, most home doctors carry a small amount of medications with then to start relieving symptoms as soon as possible.
Each home doctor makes sure a clinical report is sent to your regular GP, so they can be in the loop on your healthcare needs. Most home doctor’s will recommend you follow up with your regular practitioner the following day.