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How to Use the U.S. Health Care System. Why do we need health care?

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Presentation on theme: "How to Use the U.S. Health Care System. Why do we need health care?"— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Use the U.S. Health Care System

2 Why do we need health care?

3 Health and illness in the U.S. Health care in the U.S. may be very different from what you are used to, but doctors here want to help you stay healthy!

4 Getting a health screening Uptown Clinic 845 W Wilson Ave Chicago, IL 60640 (312) 744-1938 Touhy Health Center 2901 W Touhy Ave Chicago, IL 60645 (773) 973-7350

5 What to expect at the health screening Fill out forms Blood pressure, temperature, and weight taken A physical exam by the doctor X-ray or other machine tests Give a small amount of blood so doctors can see if it is healthy Medicines with instructions

6 Places providing health care services Public health departments Community clinics or neighborhood health centers Private doctors Hospitals Emergency rooms

7 The American health care system Health Insurance In the U.S., people pay money into a common fund (or health insurance company) that can be used when someone in the community needs health care. Buying insurance is expensive, but it is cheaper than paying for health care on your own.

8 The American health care system Types of health insurance Private or employer insurance Most people in the U.S. are responsible for paying for their own health care. Government health insurance First 8 months refugees live in the U.S. Elderly people over 65 years old People with disabilities Some children

9 The American health care system Types of health insurance During the first 8 months, you will receive Medicaid or MediPlan Plus from the government. Some individuals or families may be able to use MediPlan Plus for up to 5 years. Work with your resettlement agency to determine what will work for you and your family

10 The American health care system Illinois All Kids and Family Care All Kids is available for children 18 and younger Payment is based on income Family Care is available for parents or caregivers Must have child 18 or younger living in house Must qualify as low-income Payment is based on income

11 Your rights In Illinois, you have the right to: Health care services regardless of age, sex, or race Health care services even if you dont have health insurance Go to a different health care facility Have hospital charges, rules and regulations explained Submit complaints

12 Your rights If you do not speak English, you have the right to an interpreter when you go to a health care facility by: Telephone Staff Medical interpreter You do not have to use family or friends to interpret for you!

13 Using a health care interpreter Health care interpreters will not: Give you advice or opinions Help with financial matters Arrange or provide transportation Health care interpreters will: Translate accurately and completely Help you schedule future appointments Keep all information private

14 If an interpreter is not provided Explain that it is a legal right (use this card) File a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights: 312-353-5999 You dont need to provide your name This will not cause problems with future health care

15 Your responsibilities Ask for an interpreter when you make an appointment Arrive on time to your appointment Call the doctor if you cannot make the appointment Provide accurate and complete information Ask questions Follow the treatment plan Tell your doctor when you dont understand or disagree Pay for health care services you receive

16 Going to the doctor Ask friends and family to suggest a doctor you can be comfortable with and trust Make sure you choose a doctor that accepts your health insurance Ask about good interpreting services



19 Other health professionals Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants Can diagnose most health problems and write prescriptions Nurses Care for patients in hospitals, provide medication, check vital signs May work for programs like WIC

20 Other health professionals Midwives Assist women in childbirth Some are certified as nurse practitioners Medical Assistants and Nurses Aids Will ask you questions about your health Will check your weight, blood pressure, and temperature

21 Medical technicians Take x-rays Take samples of blood, urine, and poop for testing Health care workers Help you understand illnesses and how to take good care of your health Other health professionals



24 When to see a doctor without delay If you think you or another person may die, call 911 and ask for an ambulance You may be asked to explain the problem and give the address Recognizing an emergency: Chest pain that is severe or last 15 minutes Choking on food Loss of consciousness Not breathing or very difficult breathing Poisoning or overdose of a drug/medicine Severe injuries or bleeding Suicide attempt Continued seizures Sudden numbness or paralysis Sudden severe headache and change in consciousness

25 Other reasons to see your doctor quickly Fever of 104 degrees Vomiting or diarrhea that does not stop Coughing up or vomiting blood Toothaches or headaches that do not go away with pain relievers (such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen) Abdomial pain that does not go away Change in mental ability or not thinking clearly Throbbing headache with blurred vision Problems that become much worse Change in ability to see (such as double vision)

26 Taking medicine safely Over the counter medicines There are many medicines available to purchase in stores without a doctors prescription These medicines have instructions that must be followed very carefully Dont take more than instructed Check with a pharmacist to make sure the medicine will not make you sick

27 Taking medicine safely Prescription medicines Your doctor may give you a prescription for medicine… Tell you doctor and pharmacist every herb or medicine you take. You must take the medicine exactly as the doctor says! If you dont understand or disagree, ask questions!

28 Preventive health care There are things we can do to be healthier and keep from getting sick! We call this prevention.



31 Mental health care There are times in our lives when we feel: Sad Angry Worried Scared Confused There are health workers who can help us feel better. Tell you doctor if you do not feel like yourself or want to talk to someone.

32 How to make an appointment Keep important numbers for clinics and hospitals When you call the clinic, ask for an interpreter, if needed. Tell the receptionist what type of health care you need Write notes about the date, time, and location

33 ESL resources and activities h/ h/ health/Health_Curriculum.pdf health/Health_Curriculum.pdf ulum/curriculum.htm ulum/curriculum.htm essons/1youarewhatyoueat-teacher- CFSD.pdf essons/1youarewhatyoueat-teacher- CFSD.pdf

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