Need a Blood Test? Urgent Care Can Treat You Faster and Save You Money

For minor illnesses and injuries, urgent care centers can offer quicker service to patients. Appointments with your primary care physician can have you waiting for days or even weeks. That’s not helpful if you need immediate treatment. Emergency rooms will see you that day, but waits can be long, especially when you have a minor complaint. Emergency rooms treat the worst conditions first. Someone with an infection, a sprain, or a cough can wait for hours. Because they do not treat life-threatening conditions, urgent care centers can have you in and out in as little as an hour, and they take patients on a first come, first served basis. It’s important to know when to go to the emergency room, when to see your doctor, and when urgent care centers will meet your needs.

The Emergency Room
The emergency room is for life-threatening or serious conditions such as a heart attack or stroke where a delay in state-of-the-art treatment could cause permanent damage. Conditions that might require major intervention such as surgery should also be treated at the ER.

Go to the emergency room when you have these symptoms:
Chest pain that doesn’t go away
– Serious difficulty breathing
– Major broken bones (arm or leg)
– Severe fever (100.4 or higher, especially in infants)
– Sudden weakness, paralysis, or fainting
Serious burns
– Severe abdominal pain
– Excessive bleeding

Primary Care Physician
You should see your primary care physician for chronic illnesses like diabetes or asthma or when you need a routine check-up. The primary care physician’s job is to assess your overall health.

Primary care physicians provide the following:
– Routine check-ups and physicals
– Ongoing assessment of overall health
– Detailed patient history
– Referral to specialists as needed
Recommendations for future treatment

Urgent Care
People often go to these centers when they need to see someone right away and can’t get in to see their doctor. The centers take care of a variety of conditions when patients don’t want to wait for treatment.

Urgent care centers treat the following:
– Sports and job injuries
– Sprains and minor fractures
– Lacerations needing stitches
– Insect and animal bites
– Infected cuts
– Colds and flu
– Sinus infections and bronchitis
– Pneumonia
– Urinary tract and yeast infections
Earaches
– Migraines
– Back pain

The centers also offer a wide variety of preventative care that would likely be more expensive at the doctor’s office. They administer injections, immunizations, and boosters.

– MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
– DaTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis)
– Tetanus and Diphtheria boosters
– Chicken Pox
– Polio
– Flu shots
– Pneumonia vaccine
– Shingles vaccine
– Hepatitis B
– Travel immunizations

The centers provide physical examinations and diagnostic services.
– OSHA physicals
– DOT physicals
– School physicals
– Drug and alcohol testing
– Blood tests
– X-rays
– Hearing
– Vision

Emergency rooms and your primary care physician are central to meeting your health care needs, but there are circumstances when your nearest urgent care center is a better bet. When you need treatment right away for a non-critical condition, but it’s after hours or you can’t get an appointment with your physician that day, you can find professional, timely, and cost-effective treatment meeting the highest standards at one of these centers.

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What You Should Know About Cuts and Lacerations

A cut or laceration more or less refers to the same sort of injury involving the skin. It is one the most common injuries where a person’s skin is split open, generally by a sharp object, often causing the person to bleed.

Cuts and lacerations can vary in intensity from a simple paper cut to a more serious wound such as when one slices their finger when cutting up vegetables. Depending on the severity of the cut, there are some simple measures that can be taken to minimize any damage that the cut can potentially cause.

What To Do When You Have A Cut

In most cases there are a couple simple steps that you should follow when you have a laceration:

1. Stop the bleeding: Apply pressure onto the wound using a clean cloth to stop the bleeding. Using a clean cloth prevents infecting the wound. If there is another person with you or if you’re doing this for someone else, try to elevate the wound as well.

2. Disinfect: Apply warm water over the wound followed by an antiseptic to help prevent any chance of the open wound getting infected.

3. Protect: Apply a medical dressing over the wound to keep it protected from any dirt.

This treats most small cuts. However if the wound is still bleeding profusely or if there is another type of wound such as one caused by an object covered in rust or one caused by an animal, you will need to seek further and more professional attention from an urgent healthcare center.

Why should you go to an Urgent Healthcare Center?

Urgent Healthcare centers were intended for people who are in need of medical attention for wounds that do not really merit a visit to a hospital.

Although the equipment that they use may not be as sophisticated as the equipment in emergency rooms, there is a reason behind it. Urgent healthcare are meant to handle injuries that require treatment as soon as possible such as a cut on your hand that requires stitches to prevent infection or more commonly, lacerations to the head that need to be closed by a professional for cosmetic reasons.

Another benefit of urgent healthcare centers is that they function for longer hours than primary care physicians and don’t require an appointment to visit. Furthermore, visiting an urgent healthcare center will cost you only fraction of what you would pay to visit an Emergency room in a hospital.

How Telemedicine Can Help Doctors Reduce Costs

Thanks to the wide adoption of telemedicine solutions by many healthcare organizations around the US, it has become quite popular for those seeking convenient healthcare without having to visit the doctor in person.

Out of the many advantages of Telemedicine, savings on healthcare bills has greatly contributed to the increasing number of telemedicine users.

But patients aren’t the only ones who can save money with Telemedicine solutions; doctors can benefit too as healthcare practices become more cost-effective for them.

Here are five ways how telemedicine can help doctors save money:

· Remote Interaction Instead of Visiting:

If a patient needs immediate care but the doctor’s day is jam-packed, it can be difficult for him/her to respond immediately.

If the doctor is registered with a telemedicine service, patients can opt for check-ups online instead of visiting them. It can take about 3-5 minutes, enabling the doctor to respond even if his/her schedule is full.

· Time Optimization:

Telemedicine can hugely benefit both doctors and patients as it makes the doctor-patient communication much more convenient, irrespective of the conditions. Telemedicine solutions connect patients with doctors as soon as possible. Plus, for missed/rescheduled appointments, doctors can opt for e-visits to make the most of their valuable time.

It enables doctors to connect more flexibly with patients, saving time and money.

· Compliance With Appointments:

Patients missing out on their appointments can cost doctors time and money along with disrupting the smooth flow of their schedule. It can also result in non-compliance with appointments and follow-ups particularly for treatment regimens, which could be a health hazard for patients.

According to surveys conducted by medical malpractice insurer, The Doctors Company, “the most frequent risk-management issues included failure to contact patients after their missed appointments and a lack of tracking facility to ensure a proper follow-up care.”

Virtual appointments eliminate such risks as registered patients can be contacted to follow-up their missed appointments, if any, which reduces unnecessary costs in future.

· Work from Home:

Doctors can shorten their work hours by opting to leave work a few hours early (if there are no appointments left for the day) and continuing their virtual consultation from home. It can be beneficial for small clinics with few staff, which get more virtual visits than physical visits. Shorter hours can save money on utilities and other costs incurred while keeping the clinic open for physical visits.

· Improved Documentation:

Off-hour visits are sometimes not documented which can be risky for the doctor for future medical references. Telemedicine solves the problem by recording and documenting all virtual visits and providing references when required.

All You Need To Know About Medical Laboratory Technicians

The physicians in hospitals and clinics are often assisted by few other people who help in the detection of the disease by performing various pathological tests on the tissues of the body as well as the body fluids. These people are called medical laboratory technicians. With an associate’s degree, these people find work either in hospitals or in the doctor’s chamber.

Job Description

Their work profile is not only restricted to providing assistance to the doctor, however, they also play a major role in the detection and prevention of fatal diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and AIDS. They are mainly responsible for carrying out tests on specimens under the guidance of the laboratory supervisor or manager or even a physician.

The results of the tests done by these techies are of great importance, as these results prove to be the leads for further progressing with the causes and treatment of the verified illness. The medical technicians can have specialization in various fields of testing, some of which are microbiology, hematology, blood banking and immunology, clinical chemistry and molecular biology.

Work Environment

Medical laboratory technicians find the use of their knowledge mainly in diagnostic laboratories in hospitals and clinics. Options for employment are available at blood banks and organ banks. Many companies dealing in medical equipment often hire medical technicians as sales agents to explain their product to the target customers. Public health organizations and other laboratories involved in research also require medical laboratory technicians.

Special care needs to be taken while setting up their workplace. It should be spotlessly clean and well illuminated. Protection of the lab technicians is the topmost priority hence lab coats and masks and goggles are used by them while at work. They are required to be up for work even at odd hours of the day or during a case of emergency.

Job Duties

The medical technicians have many duties assigned to them some of which are as follows:

• It is their responsibility to maintain the cleanliness of the workplace. Proper sanitization of the workplace along with preparation of the medical specimens is among the key responsibilities of a technician.
• They have to be very careful while collecting blood samples and analysis of various chemical components meant for medical use.
• Handling medical equipment with care and their maintenance is also their lookout because these are the equipment which is meant for diagnosis of parasites in the medical specimens.

A career in medicine is very rewarding in every way. This career field is also witnessing a boom with a rise in employment every year. Although this field is very interesting, make sure to through the details for the training required to become successful in this field of medicine.

Healthy Eating Tips for Seniors

As people age, their nutritional needs change. Some may not be able to consume the same foods, or foods in the same quantities, as they could when they were younger and perhaps healthier. Too much sodium, sugar or fats can wreak havoc on the human body when people age.

Fiber for Heart Health

A diet high in fiber, including fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, can help reduce cholesterol and keep the digestive system regular. The only caution with fruits and vegetables is that if the stomach is sensitive to certain fruit acids, such as those found in tomatoes or citrus fruits, this may cause some discomfort, but overall vegetables and fruits should be consumed as much and as often as possible. Fruits and vegetables contain high plant fiber which helps cleanse the bowels and helps maintain a healthy blood glucose level, keeping early onset diabetes at bay.

High-Quality Protein

When most people think of protein, they may immediately think of a thick, juicy steak. For those so inclined, they may still enjoy steak as they age, but they may also want to consider lighter, white meat alternatives, such as pork, chicken and turkey, which are lean protein that promotes muscle strength and keeps muscle fibers from deteriorating. Grilled preparation is tasty and fast, and is a healthy alternative to fried meats. For those who would like to try a meat-free alternative, soy protein and nuts are another great way to add healthy protein and fiber into the diet.

Avoid Dairy

Younger people need the calcium in dairy to support growing bones and muscle health. Because dairy products are high in fat, aging bodies may not metabolize this fat as easily as it did when someone was younger. Those at high risk for heart disease, or people who suffer from high blood pressure, may want to avoid dairy-rich foods to keep their arteries clearer and to promote healthy blood flow. Too much fat in the diet may also make it difficult for the liver to function properly, so it may be best to avoid dairy as much as possible.

Lower Sodium Intake

People who suffer from high blood pressure should lower their sodium intake, whether this means avoid salt or avoiding processed foods. Many convenience and processed foods contain high amounts of salt and sugar, so read labels carefully and keep a healthy weight and blood pressure in mind.

Hydrate

As always, hydration is important, no matter what your age. Drink more water throughout the day to help flush toxins from the body and to help the body cool down on a hot day. Water is healthy for skin, kidneys, and the body overall, so water is always a good option as a beverage.