What’s Included In a Health Screening
What’s in a Health Screening?
Health screening services help you understand your current health picture. They uncover your personal risk for future disease and detect underlying health concerns too. The tests in your next health screening will vary depending on the type of evaluation done, but here is a look at the most common services offered.
Obesity is a risk factor for many serious conditions including heart disease and cancer. During a health screening, your provider will most likely ask you to step on the scale to see whether your body weight falls within a healthy range for your height and lifestyle. If your weight proves more or less than ideal, you may have to make some serious diet and exercise changes to avoid future health complications.
Blood Pressure Check
In the United States, roughly 1 out of every 3 people has high blood pressure. Although it is common, high blood pressure is very serious. It plays a role in deadly conditions including heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease. Your provider will either perform a manual reading or use an automatic blood pressure machine to measure your numbers. Elevated results will likely require a follow-up visit with a healthcare provider.
Point of Care Tests
Point of care, or POC tests, are those done on site without the need for a medical laboratory. Some common POC tests include blood glucose (for diabetes), TSH (for thyroid function) and hemoglobin screens (for anemia). However, other options might be possible based on your clinic’s availability. POC tests offer only a quick snapshot of your health and rarely lead to a definitive diagnosis. Any abnormal results are typically followed by more comprehensive laboratory testing.
Routine blood work takes place during most health screenings. Unlike POC tests, blood tests go to a local laboratory for results. Common tests include the Complete Blood Count and Chemistry Panel, which give your provider an idea of how well your cardiovascular system, kidneys, and blood cells are working. Depending on your health history and symptoms present at the time of your visit, you might have additional thyroid, vitamin, or hormone testing, or any other relevant tests performed.
Your medical screen may or may not include a visual acuity test. Most vision screens have you read letters or symbols from a Snellen Chart to find how well you see at a distance. This test will help you and your provider decide if there are any changes in your vision that require an upcoming visit to an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
It is becoming more and more common for providers to include mental health questionnaires as part of routine medical screening. Typically your provider will have you fill out a form that measures your risk for certain mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. In some cases, they will directly ask you a series of standard questions that indicate mental health crisis symptoms. It is important to be completely honest with your provider during this screening so proper treatment is given if needed.
If the medical screening you are attending is in a specialists office, or part of a community or corporate health fair, you might undergo more complex tests. Some health and wellness services offer tests like mammograms during breast cancer awareness events or skin cancer screens as part of prevention programs. Many life-threatening health concerns can go unnoticed if no symptoms are present, making specialty testing all the more important to take advantage of if available.
Medical screenings help your provider get a quick picture of your health. However, they should not replace routine visits with your primary care physician. Because medical screening saves lives by revealing previously unknown health information you should take advantage of it often. Keep in mind your screen might not include all the tests listed above, but it will open the door to talk about all your health concerns. Hanson Medical Systems, Inc. specializes in medical screening options. Contact us today to see what tests are right for you or your next event.