Sensible use of the internet
The internet is a fantastic source of health related information, but using it is also fraught with pitfalls.
We strongly advise you AGAINST using the internet to look up symptoms to see what they could represent. That's our job, and if you do, you may be way off course. You could end up worrying yourself to death, or completely misinterpreting something important.
But if we've told you what's wrong, you can use the internet to find out more about the condition, its treatment, different treatment centres, drug information etc.
Because absolutely anyone can put on the internet what they want, the information you find may not be reliable, and again we'd encourage you to talk to us about what you read, particularly if it goes against our advice.
There are so many good resources out there, that we could not do justice in linking a few here. You'd be better off using your favourite search engine to find them.
Below is a relatively small list of helpful sites, and they may the the sort of websites we'd recommend you visit in a consultation. (Our surgery website is full of other useful links, and if there's something in particular you're wanting to look up, check out our contents page first.
Child Developmental Milestones
You can check what infants and children should be capable of at different ages, by visiting pathways.org.
If, following this you remain concerned, the first person to consult should be the Health Visitor.
When to summon an ambulance
Here are some examples of when you should dial 999 (or 112):
- suspected heart attacks - sudden onset of chest pain that is not going away
- suspected strokes and mini-strokes (TIA's) - For weakness down one side of the body, or of the mouth, or sudden loss or slurring of the speech, even if it is transient
- when you have black tar like diarrhoea and feel terrible
- If you vomit blood
- For severe or worsening breathing difficulties
- For unexplained unconsciousness
- For allergic reactions when there's difficulty breathing or swelling around the nose and mouth
- If, in early pregnancy you have severe lower abdominal pains and feel faint
When you should visit A&E
Some examples of when patient should go to, (or be taken to), casualty are:
- Suspected broken bones and severe injuries
- Injuries that might need suturing
- Inability to pass water
- Eye injuries
- Burns and Scalds
Use the Emergency or Out of Hours GP
Here's a list of conditions for which it is better to see the out of hours doctor, rather than wait for the surgery to open.
- Suspected shingles - particularly on a weekend
- Chesty coughs where you also feel breathless
- Rashes when you also feel weak, feverish or unwell
- Suspected kidney infections
- Eye pain
- Blurred or loss of vision
When the surgery is open
Best person to see at the surgery
It is best to see the Practice Nurse about:
- Wounds and things needing dressings
- Anything to do with vaccinations and immunisations
- Travel vaccinations and Travel medicine
- General Health Advice
- Chronic Disease check-ups
- Smoking Cessation
- Weight Management
It is better to see the Doctor or Nurse Practitioner:
- To get a daignosis
- To get a prescription for a medicine
- To get referred to the hospital
Doctor or Nurse Practitioner?
Generally you would have the same experience irrespective of whether you were seen by a Doctor or by a Nurse Practitioner.
There are differences however. Unlike a doctor, nurse practitioners are not qualified to deal with pregnancy related issues, (but they can see pregnant mothers for other ailments whilst they are pregnant, such as for infections or indigestion. If you happen to see our nurse practitioner for a problem she cannot deal with she will seek advice from the doctors, and in future, for the same problem she will advise you to see the doctor instead.
Problems you could consult a nurse practitioner about
- Infections - such as chest infection, sinus infections, ear infections, skin infections, urine infection, Diarrhoea and vomiting etc.
- Skin complaints - such as unknown rash or spots, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, moles, lumps or bumps
- Mental Health problems - such as stress, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, phobias
- Joint Problems - such as arthritis, painful shoulders, bad knees, back pains, gout etc.
- Gynaecological Problems - such as bothersome periods, period pains
- Urinary conditions - such as incontinence, urine infections, prolapse
- Breast Problems - such as breast pain, abnormal discharges or breast lumps
- Lumps and bumps - such as undiagnosed lumps, hernias, cysts
- Breathing Problems - such as breathlessness, asthma, COPD
- Hormone Problems - such as Diabetes and thyroid problems
- Heart problems - such as chest pain, angina, palpitations and irregularities of the heart beat
- Headaches, tiredness, fatigue and sleep problems
- Fits, faints and tremors
- Numbness and tingling
- ...and many many more things