5 Common Conditions That Send People to Urgent Care Clinics in the Summertime

urgent care clinic

Summer is here, and it’s time to have some fun in the sun. While summer usually means relaxation and adventure, it also means summer injuries. Here are some common conditions that urgent care clinicians see during the summer months.

Swimming injuries or drowning
Summer is the ultimate time of year to swim, and it usually starts on Memorial Day weekend. Swimming-related injuries like trauma inflicted by jumping in the water, boating injuries, or even drowning show a huge spike at urgent care clinics in the summer. It’s very easy for kids to fall into the water without someone realizing it. Experts suggest having a designated adult supervise all water activities at a party.

Food poisoning and gastroenteritis
Food-borne illnesses typically peak in the summer months because warmer weather and humidity create the ultimate breeding ground for bacteria. During summer cookouts, food might not be cooked properly or it’s being left out in the sun for too long. Experts advise to properly wash fruits and veggies, avoid foods that have been sitting in the sun all day, and always wash your hands before eating.

Sunburns
A lot of sunburns don’t require a trip to an urgent care clinic, but some do when they are particularly severe. If you start experiencing blisters, nausea, confusion, extreme pain, chills, and headaches because of your sunburn, you should go to urgent care. To avoid bad sunburns, always wear sunscreen, even when it’s cloudy. You can also take breaks in the shade and wear gear that protects your skin like hats and sunglasses.

Dehydration
You spend a lot of time outside in the summer, and it’s easy to forget about drinking enough water. That combination can lead to serious dehydration, though. If you’re dehydrated, you might experience things like lack of sweating, headaches, dry mouth, flushed and hot skin, rapid breathing, confusion, dizziness, weakness, increased thirst, and even fainting. Make sure you always bring water with you and take breaks in the shade to avoid getting dehydrated.

Poison ivy rashes
Lastly, poison ivy rashes are another common thing that sends people to urgent care clinics in the summer. People are outside more, and they often can come in contact with poison ivy, as well as poison oak and sumac. A doctor at a clinic and prescribe you with oral corticosteroids and calamine lotion to get rid of the rashes.

Over 66% of urgent care clinics open their doors before 9:00 a.m. during the week, with 45.7% stay open on Saturdays and 31.1% on Sundays. No matter what time of day it is, you should seek medical attention if you experience any of these common summer illnesses.

4 Signs Your Injury Warrants a Trip to Urgent Care

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If you’ve ever hurt yourself, you know it can be hard to tell sometimes if an injury is worth taking a trip to a medical center. Here is a basic guide of signs or symptoms that warrant a trip to an urgent care facility.

You can’t walk
Foot, ankle, and leg injuries are common, but it is not always common for walking to be extremely difficult after the injury. If you find that the pain is so bad that you can’t walk even a few steps, you may have a fractured bone. Urgent care centers have the ability to give you an x-ray and provide fracture care if you did break a bone. Even if you don’t think anything is broken, you should still seek medical attention if you have difficulty walking.

You’ve suffered a severe blow to the head
Head injuries can be very serious and should not be ignored, even if there is no blood or you think you feel fine. Concussions can be life-threatening, so you should definitely seek out a medical urgent care center. This is especially true if you feel dizzy, nauseated, or confused after your blow to the head.

You have chest pain
Chest pain can mean any number of things, so you don’t want to ignore it. Heart issues can strike at any time, which is often what chest pain is indicating. If your chest starts to feel tight, squeezing, or uncomfortable, then you need to seek medical care right away, no matter what. It could be a sign of a heart attack or other serious heart conditions.

You have muscle or joint pain
Joint and muscle pain can mean a variety of things. If your joints are not behaving like they should be, like they seem to stick or lock when you try to move them, it could mean you have torn cartilage or a ligament. Similarly, you should seek medical attention if you pull and muscle and it bruises. Muscle strain tears apart your muscle tissue, even if the tears are really small. This will cause your muscles to feel sore. Even if the pain is bearable, you should still seek medical attention because it could mean something bigger.

Roughly one in five, or 21.7%, of urgent care centers have over 450 patients every week. If you experience any type of injury like those listed above, it’s a good idea to go to an urgent care center. It just might save your life.

4 Urgent Care Services You Might Not Have Thought Of

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A lot of people think of fractures, asthma attacks, fevers, cuts, and sprains when urgent care comes to mind. Although those are very common services offered at an urgent care center, they aren’t the¬†only¬†services. Here are some urgent care services that you can take advantage of that might not have occurred to you.

Immigration Services
Individuals who are seeking to gain citizenship, permanent residency, an immigration status change, or a green card need to get an immigration physical before their application can be approved. These physicals are mandatory and must be completed by a Designated Civil Surgeon so the exam can be considered valid. Urgent care offers these services to help those looking to complete the medical requirements for their applications.

Travel Medicine
When you travel to a foreign country, you’re going to need some sort of vaccination. There are health risks around the world, but vaccinations make it safe from certain organisms that could make you very ill. Urgent care services offer vaccinations for malaria, altitude sickness, motion sickness, yellow fever, and many more so that you can go on vacation, travel for work, or leave the country for any other reason.

Occupational Services
Occupational services help those who are experiencing employee group health, worker’s compensation, absenteeism, and other things that lead to a loss of productivity and rising healthcare costs. Urgent care works with your human resources department to find solutions. Therefore, they offer services like injury treatment, alcohol testing, drug screening, and even injury prevention education.

Flu Vaccinations
Flu vaccinations are so important for individuals to get every year to avoid hospitalization and even death to do the flu. When you come down with the flu, you are not only affected but you can potentially spread the illness to those who surround you. Flu vaccines are given for free in order to help people avoid the flu and stay healthy during flu season.

Roughly 90.6% of urgent care centers stay open until 7:00 PM or later during the week, and two out of five stay open until 9:00 PM or later. So no matter when you need to go in for these services, urgent care centers are much more available than a traditional doctor’s office.

Top 5 Motivators to Convince You to Get a Flu Shot

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It’s no secret that getting your flu shot is a good idea. However, there are still many people who refuse to get their annual influenza vaccination. Over the years, flu vaccinations have prevented millions of flu cases and tens of thousands of related hospitalizations, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If that’s not enough to convince you, try these five other reasons you should get your flu shot every year.

You’re always touching your phone
You know how much you’re on your phone, but do you know how many germs it carries? You don’t have to be a doctor to understand that touching a germ infested surface and then touching your face is never a good idea, especially during flu season. Your smartphone is an easy surface for viruses to cling to, and you then put it up to your face. The flu shot can help prevent those germs from infecting you with the flu.

You’ll save on sick days and money
Every year, the flu season results in millions of lost work days and costs Americans billions of dollars. In fact, according to the Huffington Post, $7 billion and 111 million workdays are lost because of the flu every year. If you get your flu shot, you won’t need a doctor’s note for missing work.

You’re around children and other people
Children under six months old cannot get a flu shot, and they are particularly susceptible to the flu. You can pass the flu on to them, potentially causing serious harm, if you do not get a flu shot. You also may infect your family and coworkers that are around you a on regular basis.

The flu was horrible last year
Last year’s flu season saw some record breaking numbers for infections and hospitalizations. If you think you won’t get the flu, you’re probably wrong. Every year the viruses get worse, and you want to make sure you are protected.

It’s available almost everywhere
You can get your flu shot pretty much everywhere, even at urgent care centers. The best part about urgent care is that roughly 66% of the centers are open before 9 am during the week, and about 45.7% of them are open on Saturdays, with 31.1% open on Sundays. This means that basically no matter the day, you can save yourself from the flu.

To protect yourself and those around you, make sure you get your flu shot this year and every year!

Emergency Room Versus Urgent Care, and the Benefits of Urgent Care

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Unfortunately, as careful as we try to be, people get sick and hurt all the time. When this happens, people often panic. We are worried about ourselves and our loved ones when an accident or emergency happens, and we want to get them taken care of as soon as possible.

This panic often leads to seeking out medical care immediately, which is great. However, typical doctor’s offices are not open all the time. For this reason, many patients often opt for the emergency room so that they can be looked at quickly. This can very swiftly lead to overcrowding in the emergency room (which ironically means patients aren’t seen quickly at all). Too often patients go to the emergency room even if the illness or injury does not warrant an ER visit.

When you Should Go to the Emergency Room
As is in the name, emergency room visits should be saved for true emergencies. When medical attention is required that can only be given in a hospital setting, then the emergency room is probably appropriate. Conditions like severe chest pain, difficulty breathing, broken bones, heart attacks, and serious cuts and bleeding are all excellent examples of reasons one should go straight to the emergency room.

When You Should Go to a Walk In Urgent Care
Walk in Urgent Care facilities offer immediate care for a variety of medical problems that need to be treated right away, but are not considered true emergencies. Conditions that warrant an urgent care visit are things like a fever without a rash, ear pain, painful urination, diarrhea, vomiting, major bruising from a fall, or a sore throat. When these instances occur and you cannot get in to see your primary care doctor soon enough, visiting an urgent care is your best bet.

Benefits of Walk In Urgent Care Over the Emergency Room
Other than being open 24/7, emergencies rooms have very few benefits over walk in urgent care centers. If you can wait, here are two reasons that you will be better off going to urgent care than the emergency room.

Treatment Options
Urgent care center are equipped to handle a variety of medical conditions, and they also typically have a physician on site that is ready to take care of your medical needs.

Shorter Wait Times
The urgent Care Association of America conducted a survey that revealed 57% of patients do not have to wait any longer than 15 minutes to be seen at an urgent care, and approximately 80% of urgent care visits take less than 60 minutes. Some people wait hours at the emergency room.

If you are experiencing a medical condition that does not warrant a trip to the emergency room, go to an urgent care center before you wait around to see your primary care doctor.

Cold Or Flu? How To Spot The Difference

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We all know the feeling: You wake up feeling congested, exhausted, and just yucky overall. As you stay in bed all day to take care of yourself, you might be wondering whether you have the flu or just a cold, especially if you didn’t get a flu vaccination. In some cases, it can be tricky to spot the difference between these two viruses. While the best way to get an accurate diagnosis is to stop by an urgent care clinic, there are some key differences to help you tell the difference.

The Common Cold
It’s hard to get through a Winter season without catching a cold. To spot this virus, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Congestion
  • Cough
  • Slight fever (mostly in children)

These symptoms usually last about a week and are contagious for the first three days. Most people can recover from the cold with rest and fluids. But in some cases, the cold might develop into a sinus infection, in which you would require antibiotics.

The Flu
While a cold may be a mild virus, the flu is generally more intense. This virus comes on suddenly and has more severe symptoms including:

  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Congestion
  • Cough
  • Muscle Aches

Flu symptoms can last over a week but generally become milder in five days or less. While most people can recover with rest, certain individuals might be at risk for complications. Children, elderly individuals, and people with specific conditions should see their doctors if they contract the flu. According to WebMD, patients who experience shortness of breath should seek medical care, as this could be a sign that the flu has led to pneumonia.

Prevention
Remember that the best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccination. It is never too late in the season to visit a clinic for your immunization, so stop by your local urgent care center today. To prevent both viruses, be sure to wash your hands frequently. This will remove harmful germs from your skin and prevent them from entering your body.

Remember that 90.6% of urgent care centers are open past 7 p.m. on weeknights and two out of five open 9 p.m. or later, you can stop by a clinic for a specific diagnosis and care. By taking care of yourself and knowing the signs of the flu, you can help keep yourself healthy this season.