Sherman Hospital is actively working to educate our community about the dangers of cardiovascular disease. In an effort to bring to our community a valuable healthcare service, Sherman’s Healthy Heart Mobile is offering heart and vascular diagnostic screenings throughout the community.
In an interview with Tina Link, manager of Community Outreach and coordinator of all Healthy Heart Mobile screenings, frequently asked questions about the recommendations, process, and results of the screenings were answered.
Question 1: What is your involvement with the Healthy Heart Mobile?
Tina Link: I am the Manager of Community Outreach and help to perform all the screenings with one other employee from Community Wellness. We work with one lab tech and an ultrasound tech at each of these events.
Question 2: What should you do prior to the test? Clothing, eating/drinking, etc?
Tina Link: The only thing that is truly important to do before the test is to fast. No food or drink after midnight of the night before your test. On the morning of, you can drink water and take your necessary medications.
As far as clothing, there is nothing that needs to be worn and you do not have to take off clothing at the screening. The examiner only needs to be able to access your neck and abdomen for the ultrasounds.
Question 3: At what age are you recommended to take the test?
Tina Link: Anyone over the age of 55 should consider taking the test because they are at high risk for heart disease. However, all are welcome to participate.
Question 4: Who should consider taking the test?
Tina Link: Those with family history of heart disease should be considering the test. Ideally, someone over 18 could take the test without having to get any consent.
Question 5: What shouldn’t one do before the test?
Tina Link: There is no point to getting the test if you already know you have heart disease—our tests won’t tell you anything you don’t already know.
Question 6: Will you be taking off any articles of clothing?
Tina Link: Only your shoes and socks. I don’t recommend wearing tights or nylons.
Question 7: How long does the test take?
Tina Link: You should plan on the being there for approximately 45 minutes.
Question 8: What will the test be able to tell you?
Tina Link: We will be able to tell you the level at which you are at risk of overall heart disease.
Question 9: Who sees my test results?
Tina Link: The only people that see you results are myself (Tina Link), your physician (if permission is granted), and you.
Question 10: When do my results typically come?
Tina Link: I (Tina Link) will have your results within 24-48 hours of your test. I will get them to you within 7 days, however, if I foresee a big issue I will call you immediately.
Question 11: If something should show up, what are the next steps?
Tina Link: It is ultimately up to the patient to use their results to their own good and follow appropriate measures. However, we will put together a document explaining what your results mean, a copy of your test results, and their will be supplemental forms and information.
Question 12: What is the most painful feature of the test?
Tina Link: The only painful procedure will be when we draw your blood.
Question 13: Is the $139 covered by Health Insurance?
Tina Link: Most likely not. However, we can provide you with a receipt of which you can submit to your insurance for reimbursement if they cover preventive screenings.
Question 14: Do doctors have to order the tests?
Tina Link: No, the patient calls for each test.
If you see that your question was unanswered, feel free to email Tina Link at Tina.Link@ShermanHospital.org.