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All Posts Tagged: STD testing

What Are the Most Common Reasons Patients Use Urgent Care?

It’s no secret that urgent care centers are growing in popularity. It seems that every town and city has begun seeing them pop up one after another, but why is that? Urgent care centers are changing the way that the world of medicine works, let’s find out how! 

Why Are Urgent Care Centers So Popular?

Did you know that urgent care centers are one of the fastest growing branches of the medical industry? The last few years have seen rapid growth as patient begin to notice the perks of utilizing an urgent care center rather than an emergency room. A few of the most notable reasons why patients are choosing urgent care include: 

  • Cost – urgent care centers provide high quality care at an affordable price. The exact same testing and treatment options of an emergency room are offered at a fraction of the cost you would find at an emergency room or even a primary care physician. 
  • Time – urgent care centers operate on a first come first serve basis. That means that you’re treated in the order you arrive, regardless of what you’re there for. A traditional emergency room operates differently, seeing the most severe cases first. While this helps save lives, it leaves less-severe patients waiting for hours before they’re ever seen. Urgent care centers are helping to get patients seen faster and unclogging emergency rooms all at the same time. 
  • Flexibility – urgent care centers are great for people needing care that they could get from their primary care physician but are unable to get due to their schedules. Urgent cares typically open early and stay open late so you can come by when it fits into your schedule. 

What Do Urgent Care Centers Do?

The most common reasons to visit an urgent care include: 

  • Stitches 
  • Muscle strains
  • Minor fractures
  • Infections – ear infection, UTI, sinus infection, etc. 
  • Flu vaccine 
  • Physicals 
  • STD testing 
  • Respiratory illness – bronchitis, pneumonia, etc. 

Urgent care centers offer on-site x-ray imaging, blood work, and much more! Unless you’re suffering from a life-threatening injury or illness, urgent care will likely be able to give you the care that you need. 

Next time you’re in need of injury care, illness care, preventative care, or even just a physical, visit your local urgent care! Look online to find the nearest urgent care to you and learn more about their hours of operation and services offered. 

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Why Adults Need Regular and Frequent STD Testing

Every adult is responsible for his or her own health and getting regular and frequent testing for sexually transmitted diseases or infections is an important part of taking care of yourself. Not only is this necessary for your own health and safety, but for the health and safety of your sexual partner, as well. Even if you get regular testing and are free of sexually transmitted infections, always use protection and encourage your partner(s) to get tested, too. 

STDs Are on the Rise

Although more research and resources are available now than ever, STD rates are on the rise in the US. There are many reasons for this, including the stigma around STDs, ignorance about STD testing, and lack of communication between partners. There is no shame in getting tested for STDs and is something every sexually active adult must do regularly.

You may think that STD testing is part of your regular annual physical or gynecological exam, but this is not the case. Many people think that it’s included in your annual exam and since they don’t hear any results, they assume they are free of STDs. You usually need to ask for your doctor to perform an STD test. You may also assume that your partner is free of STDs, has been tested, and knows about proper testing methods. It’s important to talk to your partner about STD testing to make sure you are both healthy and safe. 

Another reason for the spread of STDs is that many have mild to no symptoms at all. You can have an STD without symptoms and not know it. This is why it’s so important to get tested regularly, even if you think you are healthy. 

As fewer people get tested, STD rates rise. You should get tested between every sexual partner and continue to get checked regularly. 

Get Fast and Affordable Testing

There are many options for affordable and accessible STD testing today. You can even test yourself at home with a kit. However, these kits usually require you to send a sample of your blood or urine off to a lab before you get results, so it doesn’t really save time compared to a doctor’s visit. Also, sometimes the samples are inconclusive and need to be retaken and resent.

Urgent care is an excellent resource for STD testing. You can walk in at any time and often get same-day results. This spares you from making and waiting for a doctor’s appointment, taking your own sample at home, or having unprofessional or inconclusive results. You can get peace of mind quickly, even if you don’t have health insurance. 

No matter what gender you are, your sexual history, or how many partners you have had or currently have, all sexually active adults must get regular STD testing. Don’t wait; walk into your local urgent care and get peace of mind right away.

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The differences between urgent care, retail centers, and primary care

Many patients may confuse urgent care centers, retail clinics, and primary care offices because of their similar names/services.

However, it is important to understand that these types of medical providers have varying degrees of comprehensive care, clinical capabilities, and other ways to provide care to patients. So what are the main differences between each

Retail Clinics

Retail clinics provide walk-in services for patients are located inside of  large stores, like supermarkets and department retailers. Instead of physicians, retail clinics are staffed by nurse practitioners (NPs) or physician assistants (PAs), and are intended to be affordable and efficient.

Different location operators provide different services, but generally, retail clinics provide care for common illnesses and injuries, including a sore throat, cold and flu symptoms, allergies, minor cuts, burns, rashes and headaches. Some retail clinics may also perform immunizations, annual physicals and health screenings. The operating hours for retail clinics vary, but are generally open from 8 a.m to 8 p.m during the week. 

Primary Care

Primary care offices are staffed by family physicians and provide a variety of services intended to support continuous care. Primary care physicians establish a relationship with their patients, manage their health, provide patient education and counseling, and promote wellness improvements. 

Primary care providers, or PCPs, are responsible for offering preventative services that can keep illness at bay. A primary care office performs vaccinations, physicals, check-ups, screenings and blood work, and help with the management of diseases such as diabetes and asthma. PCPs provide specialty referrals if they identify any outstanding healthcare risks or concerns. Usually PCPs are open during regular business hours without the flexibility of urgent care centers. 

Make sure to meet a new potential PCP and evaluate if they are a good fit for you or your family.

Urgent Care

Urgent care centers are a bit more advanced in clinical capabilities when compared to retail clinics, based on the staff and equipment available at an urgent care center. Most urgent care centers have at least one board-certified doctor in-house to treat patients during business hours. 

Most urgent care centers are equipped with x-ray imaging services that help evaluate and manage injuries like broken bones,  Whereas emergency rooms typically have long wait times, the average wait time at an urgent care center is 15 minutes or less, based on the most recent statistics on urgent care use. 

Ultimately, you’ll likely need at least two of these providers in order to have ideal healthcare access. For most patients, a PCP as well as a trusted urgent care center can help deliver the best possible healthcare outcomes.

 

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