Resources - General Help
For general non-emergency medical care, there are a few different options available. Most hospitals have a walk-in clinic where you can simply turn up, present your health or insurance card, register and queue to see a general practitioner. It's commonplace to be seen by a triage nurse who will take down the details of your medical history and ailment before you see a doctor. These departments usually operate on a first come, first served basis. It's advisable to call the hospital prior to visiting to make sure that they operate a walk-in service and to check opening times. If you are on a private healthcare plan, make sure in advance that the hospital is on your insurer's network.
Many hospitals and smaller clinics offer family medicine as part of their outpatient services. You can usually call to make an appointment, but there's no guarantee that you'll get an appointment on the same day. If your usual family medicine department has no available appointments but you need immediate non-emergency medical care, they may admit you through the A&E department, but they will advise you of this when you call. American Hospital offers a fast-track service through its A&E department for people needing immediate medical attention.
To Your Health
It is natural to get accustomed to living a not-so-healthy lifestyle. While you're likely to enjoy the many things that your body does not exactly see as healthy, it is comforting to know that there are many resources to get you back on track. Here are a few common health concerns that often arise during the Summer months.
While many people spend a greater portion of their time outdoor during the Summer months, it is a more demanding time to get back into shape. In general, people have a more sedentary lifestyle during the Winter months and spend a great deal of time trying to make up for all the time spent indoors. Fortunately there are a number of ways to get back into shape by initiating an exercise routine, eating healthier, and taking part in a sports team or a fitness center. For those that may seek additional help, there are many nutritionist programs, healthy weight loss groups and advanced weight loss regimens.
Obesity is also a major contributing factor to America's high incidence of type 2 diabetes, a preventable form of diabetes which is strongly linked to lifestyle and eating habits. It is imperative that people understand the preventative measures, healthy eating and the benefits of an active lifestyle. If you suffer from diabetes or think you may be at risk, you can speak to your doctor or contact a specialist diabetes clinic. There are also a number of nutritionists who can help you manage your condition through your diet.
It goes without saying that extra sun care needs to be taken when out and about in the Summer sun. The hot sun and high temperatures are recipes for sunburn and heat stroke if you are not prepared. Sun block is widely available in supermarkets and pharmacies. Sun hats, light, loose clothing that covers your limbs, sun glasses and seeking shade are recommended when out and about in the hotter parts of the day. With high temperatures throughout the year, you should also ensure that you drink enough water to remain hydrated; this is particularly important when you exercise and during the summer months. It's wise to keep a couple of bottles of water in the car in case of emergencies. If you have a breakdown in busy traffic, you may be faced with an uncomfortable wait while the police or recovery truck comes to the rescue. You should also be aware of any changes to your skin, such as new moles or ones that change shape, color or bleed. Contact your doctor or a dermatologist if you have any concerns.
If you suffer from asthma, you may find that the dusty outdoor environment and the dry, conditioned air indoors aggravate your symptoms and you may need to rely on your inhaler more often than you would at home. A number of medical practices offer asthma clinics, and help with other respiratory ailments.
Ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists can advise the best course of treatment and arrange surgery if necessary.
Mosquitoes are common at the beginning and end of Summer, particularly around the water, and the perfect outing can be ruined by bites from these tiny critters. Mild mosquito repellent sprays and lotions are usually effective enough to keep mosquitoes at bay, so you shouldn't need to resort to DEET-based or tropical strength products. If you prefer natural remedies, citronella oil is reportedly an effective mosquito repellant and is available in many local stores. To save yourself from being bitten while you sleep, plug-in mosquito repellers are available from most supermarkets and pharmacies.
Sometimes your doctor isn't available when feeling great can't wait. Daytime, evenings, weekends and holidays, Urgent Care is there for you when you need quality health care from a facility that can help you feel better today. If you are not sure whether a Urgent Care medical center is right for your same-day care needs, please contact your local Urgent Care facility.
When to use Urgent Care for general illness:
- Abscess incision and drainage
- Allergic reactions
- Athlete's foot/fungus infection
- Burns from heat or chemical exposure
- Diaper rash
- Ear infection
- Eye infection
- Flu symptoms
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Insect bites
- Itchy skin
- Runny nose
- Sinus infection
- Skin allergy
- Skin infections
- Sore throat
- STD testing and treatment
- Stomachaches and stomach pains
- Urinary tract infections
- Wound infection
And when your primary care physician is unavailable or if you don't have a primary care physician.
When to go to the emergency room:
- Life-threatening conditions
- Heart attack or stroke
- Open fractures
- Severe bleeding
- Chest pain
- Head injury or other major trauma
- One-sided weakness or numbness
- Loss of consciousness
- Severe abdominal pain
If you are experiencing any of these conditions, please call 9-1-1 immediately.
General Medical Care for Minor Emergencies
Minor injuries are usually the most troublesome type of injury because even though they are minor, they still need some type of medical treatment. It almost seems like a waste to go to the hospital to fix a minor injury, and you will find yourself waiting even longer in line because the hospital will see that your injury is not first priority. By going to a clinic that offers general care for minor injuries, you can get professional help quickly, safely, and at a great price.
Most injuries in general are minor, or people can usually tell the difference between an injury that is minor, and an injury that is very serious. Having a care center that specializes in taking care of minor injuries such as small cuts, scrapes, sprains, and other relatively temporary injuries is the best way to go.
If you have a small cut, then getting it cleaned and properly treated is a very quick and easy process. If the cut appears to be a large enough wound for stitches, you should seek medical help for this as soon as possible because stitches can only be applied to wounds up to 8-12 hours after the cut has been made. The best way to treat any abrasion of the skin is to just keep it clean by washing it regularly and keeping it covered up away from germs to avoid infection.
Many adults and kids alike often receive some type of sprain from doing average, daily exercise. It is very easy to trip over something and sprain your ankle. Even though sprains aren't considered major medical emergency, they still can cause problems down the road if mistreated. Your local general medical care provider can be sure to tell you what type of sprain you have, and will tell you all the steps needed for a full recovery.
The reason a medical center that specializes in helping people with minor emergencies and common sicknesses can save you time and money has a lot to do with multiple things. They are better staffed than a hospital because the clinic itself is not too big. They can charge less because they do not have the overhead a hospital or large doctor's office might have. And they can save you a lot of time because they are typically not overcrowded and do not prioritize your injuries. This makes it the best choice for any minor injury emergency for any family.