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Tips for dealing with medical issues while RVing

by Fran Crawford
High on the list of questions asked by seasoned as well as new RVers ... RV snowbirds, RV vacationers, RV weekenders, fulltime RVers, part time RVers... is the question about health/medical care. What to do if... someone becomes ill, gets injured or has a major medical problem?

When insurance is within your means there are options available for transportation to medical facilities from your location as well as services that will pick up your RV and deliver it to your home base when you are incapacitated or otherwise unable to do this yourself.

Care and comfort for the patient is the prime concern. The 'what ifs' are many but there are a few solutions that will help ease frustrations and find help for patients. The seriousness of the problem will determine actions to be taken.

Of course, if you are within close proximity of your home base or home town the best thing to do in an emergency would be to simply go back there ... to your own doctors and medical facilities. If you are several hours or even days away it may be necessary to find other solutions.

Non-emergency or urgent care clinics can usually be found in larger urban areas and are equipped to care for non-life threatening issues. Family doctors of friends or family you are visiting may also be a good source for RVers who need medical help on the road.

If you are staying in a RV park or resort, your neighbors or the park management will be a good source for information about local facilities. For the most part RVers are friendly and willing to assist other RVers when they can. Don't be afraid or too proud to ask for help.

The internet can be a big help in finding facilities in the area where you are as well as the community you are traveling toward. You can also find websites with first aid help for injuries and some common ailments to aid in the comfort of the patient temporarily.

One of the best ways to face health emergencies on the highway is to be prepared. A visit to your physician to have an assessment of your general health and any special conditions before you depart is a good way to be prepared. Let your doctor know you are planning an RV trip and ask his advice.

Arrange with your family doctor to have your records forwarded to you should need be; or have copies made to take along with you. If you will be in one place for a period of time find out if your family doctor might know and/or can recommend someone in the area you will be visiting that you could see in case of emergency.

Use a nationwide, computer networked pharmacy if you will be needing to have prescriptions refilled while you are traveling. Walgreen's and Wal Mart come to mind, but there are others.

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