Where To Take Your Sick Child For Care

Posted by on February 6, 2019

woman holding sick child in lap - where to take your sick child for care Your toddler is running a fever and acting extra fussy… Do you rush to the emergency room, or simply set an appointment with the pediatrician for next week? How about a trip to the local urgent care center? Determining what level of care your little one needs is often a difficult and confusing task. While your first step should always be a call to your pediatrician or an after-hours answering service to discuss symptoms, below, we offer some general guidelines for when and where to take your sick child for care.

When To Head Straight To The ER

A visit to the emergency room should be reserved for true medical emergencies, such as trauma, surgical procedures, and life-threatening situations.

Call 911 or go right to the ER if your child:

  • is under 2 months old and has a fever of 100.4 degrees F or higher
  • suffered a serious head or eye injury
  • suffered a serious burn or large cut
  • had a seizure
  • has a broken bone with visible swelling
  • shows signs of dehydration (dry lips and mouth, absence of urination for more than 12 hours, lethargy and confusion)
  • is having trouble breathing
  • ingested a poison, drug, or unknown substance

When To Use An Urgent Care

If your child is able to walk, talk, play and interact, it’s most likely not a medical emergency. For minor injuries and illnesses that require immediate attention, an urgent care center is a time- and cost-saving alternative to the ER.

Urgent care centers are able to treat a wide range of non life-threatening injuries and illnesses, and offer extended evening and weekend hours, usually with X-rays and lab testing on-site. Average waits are under an hour and the cost per visit is much less than the ER.

Common children’s medical issues that can be treated by an urgent care include:

  • Coughs/Stuffy Nose
  • Strep throat
  • Minor Cuts and Burns
  • Common Cold
  • The Flu
  • Pink Eye
  • Minor Broken Bones and Sprains
  • Ear Infections
  • Rashes
  • Asthma
  • Vomiting/Diarrhea

It’s also a good idea to call the urgent care ahead of your visit to verify what ages and conditions they treat. Based on your child’s symptoms, the clinic may direct you to the ER.

Now you know the basics of where to take your sick child for care. We’re here for you when an urgent care is the best choice.

Evaluating Your Low Back Pain

Posted by on January 17, 2019

Almost every adult will deal with low back pain at some point in their life. In fact, it’s one of the most common reasons people head to the doctor. While most cases of acute low back pain will go away without intervention, a visit to an urgent care center can help rule out more serious conditions and ensure you’re on the quickest road to feeling better.

Symptoms of Low Back Pain:

  • Muscle aches in lower spinal region
  • Shooting or stabbing pain
  • Pain that radiates down your leg
  • Pain that worsens with bending, lifting, standing or walking
  • Pain that improves with reclining

If you’re suffering from the symptoms above, head into our clinic whenever it’s convenient for you. Our providers can review your medical history and lifestyle for signs of systemic diseases, social and psychological stresses, and risk factors that may be contributing to your pain. We will perform a comprehensive physical exam to inspect the back, assess areas of tenderness, and evaluate your spinal mobility. Through this medical evaluation, we can help narrow down the cause of your low back pain and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Some common causes of lower back pain include:

Muscle and Ligament Strains

Lifting a heavy object or twisting suddenly can strain the muscles in your back or the ligaments of your spine and cause diffuse back pain.

Herniated Disc

The intervertebral discs that act as cushions in your spin can become compressed and bulge outward (herniation) or rupture, causing dull or sharp shooting low back pain.

Compression Fracture

Commonly caused by osteoporosis, a spinal compression fracture occurs when a bone in the spine collapses, leading to debilitating back pain.

Osteoarthritis (spondylosis)

A breakdown of the cartilage of the joints and discs in the lower back can make movement difficult and painful.

Skeletal irregularities

Scoliosis, a condition in which your spine curves to the side, can lead to back pain later in life.

Visit our clinic today to better understand your lower back pain. Our talented and friendly medical team can quickly evaluate your symptoms, and determine a treatment plan to help you find relief. Initial treatment for low back pain may include hot or cold packs, over-the-counter NSAIDs, cortisone injections, and physical therapy. Integrative medicines such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, yoga and massage may be helpful.

Signs and Symptoms of Stomach Flu

Posted by on December 13, 2018

Could your tummy trouble be viral gastroenteritis, AKA the “stomach flu”?

Viral gastroenteritis, commonly known as the “stomach flu”, is an intestinal infection with some seriously miserable symptoms–think nausea, stomach cramps, and frequent beelines to the bathroom. A number of viruses can cause the unpleasant illness, though norovirus is usually to blame. Rotavirus, adenovirus, astrovirus, and sapovirus are also common.

These viruses are highly contagious, spread quickly from person to person, and are most active from October to April. You can catch a stomach bug simply from being near, shaking hands, or sharing personal items with someone who is sick. You can also develop the illness by consuming contaminated food or water (i.e. food poisoning). Anyone can get viral gastroenteritis, though young children, older adults, dormitory residents, and those with weakened immune systems are more vulnerable.

It’s important to note that the so-called “stomach flu” is not the same as influenza. Real flu is a respiratory infection, whereas gastroenteritis attacks the intestines.

Viral Gastroenteritis symptoms include:

  • Watery, nonbloody diarrhea*
  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • Nausea, vomiting or both
  • Occasional muscle aches or headache
  • Low-grade fever

*When you have an intestinal infection, your large intestine struggles to retain fluids, which leads to loose, watery stool, generally without smell or blood. Bloody diarrhea may indicate a more severe infection. Head straight to the ER if you notice this symptom.

Symptoms of viral gastroenteritis come on abruptly, and fortunately, don’t last long. The illness usually runs its course within 1-2 days. And since antibiotics are ineffective against viruses, the best treatment plan is plenty of rest and extra fluids. Dehydration as a result of diarrhea and vomiting can be a serious concern, so head into our urgent care center if:

  • You’re unable to keep liquids down for 24 hours
  • You experience vomiting that lasts more than two days
  • You’re dehydrated — signs of dehydration include excessive thirst, dry mouth, deep yellow urine or little or no urine, and severe weakness, dizziness or lightheadedness
  • You’re vomiting blood
  • You have a fever above 104 F (40 C)

Our medical team is available 7 days a week to provide quick, quality treatment when you need it most!

Does my child have an ear infection?

Posted by on November 8, 2018

Your toddler is tugging at their ear and acting extra fussy. Could it be an ear infection?

Ear infections are one of the most common reasons parents bring their child to the doctor. In fact, five out of six kids will experience at least one ear infection by their third birthday. The condition, also known as acute otitis media, is an inflammation of the middle ear that occurs when fluid builds up behind the eardrum and becomes infected by bacteria or a virus. Since your child may not yet have the language skills to communicate their pain, it’s important to learn the signs and symptoms of an ear infection, and when it’s time to see a medical provider.

Signs and Symptoms

child in bed with ear infection Tugging or pulling at the ear(s)

  • Ear pain that’s worse when lying down
  • Irritable, fussier than usual
  • Crying more than usual
  • Difficulty hearing and/or failing to respond to sounds
  • Difficulty balancing
  • Drainage from the ear
  • Fever (100 F or higher)
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of appetite

These symptoms can indicate a number of conditions, so it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment from a medical provider.

When To See A Doctor

Call your child’s doctor, or head right into our clinic if:

  • symptoms last for more than a day
  • ear pain is severe
  • your child is sleepless or irritable after a cold or upper respiratory infection
  • you observe a discharge of fluid, pus or blood from the ear

To diagnose ear pain, our provider will review your child’s symptoms, perform a physical exam, and use a lighted instrument, called an otoscope, to view the eardrum. The provider may also use a pneumatic otoscope to check for fluid behind the eardrum.

If symptoms indicate a bacterial infection, we may be prescribe a course of antibiotics. Other times, it’s best to simply monitor the situation and focus on symptom management. Some earaches are not caused by infection, and will get better on their own within 1-2 days. Ear drops and over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can reduce fever and ease pain.

If your child is suffering from signs and symptoms of an ear infection, we are here for you. Simply walk in for quick, convenient, quality care for you child.

Flu Prevention and Treatment Techniques You Need to Know

Posted by on October 5, 2018

mug on bedside table - flu prevention and treatmentFall is here, and flu season won’t be far behind. Learn the best flu prevention methods, and when it’s time to see a doctor.

Flu is a contagious respiratory illness that can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia and even death. In fact, flu-related illnesses claimed over 80,000 lives just last year! Here’s how to protect yourself and your family this flu season.

Flu Prevention

Flu viruses occur seasonally (October through May) and spread through droplets in the air when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Follow these simple preventative steps to avoid falling ill.

    • The most effective way to fight the flu is to get vaccinated. Flu vaccinations save lives, and the CDC recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older get an annual flu vaccine. The vaccine can lessen the severity of an illness –if not prevent it all together– and reduce your risk of serious complications.
    • Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands often, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and moth, and disinfect surfaces.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. While this step isn’t always possible, it’s worth noting!

Flu Treatment

A sudden onset of fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, runny or stuffy nose, headache and fatigue? You might have the flu. Here’s how to handle it.

See a doctor ASAP. Your doctor can run a rapid flu test and if indicated, prescribe an antiviral medication proven to lessen the severity and duration of your illness. When taken promptly, antiviral drugs can reduce the time you are sick by 1-2 days and also prevent serious complications, such as pneumonia.

Help stop the spread of flu. If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, limit contact with other people and stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except for necessities and to get medical care. When you sneeze and cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, then throw the tissue out and wash your hands.

We treat cold and flu on a walk-in basis, at an affordable price. Visit our clinic today to feel better faster.

Employee Flu Shot Clinics Now Available!

Posted by on September 16, 2018

Preventing the spread of flu around your office is easy with Physicians Urgent Care employee flu shot clinics!

  1. Pick a day and a PUC location that works for your team
  2. Contact us at jodis@pucclinic.com to schedule
  3. Show up, get a shot & leave with protection from this year’s flu virus

When you schedule a flu shot clinic at PUC, you are providing your employees the easiest and quickest way to get vaccinated – all they have to do is show up!

Available at:

Brentwood
700 Old Hickory Blvd, #207
Brentwood, TN 37027

Berry Farms
5021 Hughes Crossing Suite 165
Franklin, TN 37064

Franklin
155 Covey Drive, #100
Franklin, Tennessee 37067

Prevent Scars with Proper Wound Care

Posted by on September 14, 2018

Man having his wound treated and bandaged to prevent scars Cuts, scrapes, and minor wounds are a part of life, but lasting scars don’t have to be. Learn how to care for your wounds and prevent scars.

What Exactly Is A Scar?

When skin is injured, our body produces extra collagen in an effort to repair the wound as fast as possible. This fibrous healing tissue replaces normal skin, and becomes what we refer to as a scar. Most scars are flat and pale, though some may be raised (known as hypertrophic and keloid scars). The appearance of a scar depends on factors such as the size, shape, and location of the wound and the thickness and color of your skin. While some scarring is inevitable, there are some simple ways you can prevent and lessen lasting marks.

Follow These Wound Care Steps To Prevent Scars

  1. Know when to see a doctor. Wide-set or deep cuts may need stitches. If your wound is deep, painful, or becomes infected, head into our clinic as soon as possible. The key to preventing scars is treating wounds early. Our medical team can quickly evaluate and treat your injury to help you heal faster and minimize scarring. Make sure to follow your provider’s advice on follow-up care and when to get stitches removed.
  2. Keep the wound clean, moist, and covered. Wash your wound daily, using water, a soft wash cloth, and mild soap. After cleaning, apply petroleum jelly or Aquaphor, and a fresh bandage. This hydrates the wound to promote healing, and also protects it from germs and infection. Properly caring for your wound will allow your body to heal with less work and less scarring.
  3. Be patient. Wounds take many months to fully heal.  Avoid using hydrogen peroxide (it actually slows tissue growth), never pick scabs, and always wear sunscreen to prevent discoloration and further skin damage.  A simple, natural healing process is your best bet!

When you need fast treatment for minor cuts and wounds, head into our clinic. We can evaluate your injury and perform stitches, X-rays, and tetanus shots on-site, with no appointment necessary.

Back to School: Common Classroom Illnesses

Posted by on August 10, 2018

common classroom illnessesThe start of the school year brings with it new teachers, full backpacks, and plenty of homework. Unfortunately, it also brings an increased risk of illness for your children. Kids in school spend more time indoors, in close proximity to one another, sharing supplies, toys, — and infections. Learn about the common classroom illnesses that your kids might come home with this school year, and how best to care for them.

Pinkeye (conjunctivitis)

Pinkeye –or conjunctivitis– is one of the most common eye infections in children. It is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the transparent membrane that lines the eyelid and covers the white of the eyeball. Pinkeye is most often the result of a virus, and can be very contagious; outbreaks sweep through schools and playgrounds.

Pinkeye symptoms include the hallmark pink or red appearance of the eye, along with eye itchiness, pain, swelling, and/or a feeling of sand in the eye. Discharge from the eye and tearing are also common. If you suspect your child has pinkeye, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the spread of the infection to others, and help ease symptoms. Visit our clinic at the first signs of symptoms of pinkeye.

Flu

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that occurs seasonally, usually from October through May (the bulk of the school year.) The flu is spread through tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Symptoms come on suddenly, can be mild to severe, and include fever, body aches, decreased appetite, headache, and severe exhaustion. The illness can lead to serious complications, especially in young children. If your little one develops symptoms, head into our clinic for a proper diagnosis and fast treatment.

To prevent flu, make sure your family receives the annual flu vaccine and teach your child good hygiene habits such as covering coughs and sneezes and frequent hand-washing.

Common Cold

The common cold is usually the result of rhinoviruses. These viruses spread through the air and close personal contact, and kids are more susceptible than adults. If your child comes down with a cold, they’ll likely be sneezy, and suffering from a runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, body aches, and a headache. They may also develop a mild fever. There is no cure for a cold. Just make sure your little one gets some rest and drinks plenty of fluids.

Strep Throat

Strep throat is a contagious infection of the throat and tonsils caused by group A streptococcus bacteria. These bacteria spread easily through airborne droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Kids can get strep by breathing in these droplets, touching a surface where they are present, or by sharing food or drinks with someone who is sick.

Signs of strep include a sore and scratchy throat, difficulty swallowing, headache and fever. Your child’s tonsils may appear red and swollen, sometimes with white patches, along with tiny red spots at the back of the mouth and swollen lymph nodes in the front of the neck. If your child is suffering from any symptoms that may indicate strep, it’s important to see a medical provider. Untreated strep throat can cause serious complications such as kidney inflammation and rheumatic fever.

As a parent, it’s difficult to see your child not feeling well. But, childhood illnesses are inevitable. Teach your kids healthy habits, keep track of their symptoms, and remember that our medical team is here to care for your family!

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Here’s What You Need To Know

Posted by on July 16, 2018

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Tick on Blanket

Summer is here, which means an increase in certain diseases and illnesses like allergies, food poisoning and hives. There are also a number of life-threatening illnesses to look out for this summer. One of those illnesses is Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Why is Rocky Mountain spotted fever such a huge concern this summer?

What is Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever?

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is an illness caused by a bite from a tick infected with a particular bacteria known as Rickettsia rickettsii.

The majority of cases of RMSF occur during the summertime, but cases have been reported in the spring, fall and winter months, as well.

Where Does Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Occur?

In the United States, more than 60% of reported cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever occur in just five states: Tennessee, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas.

Cases of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever have even been reported in Canada and South America.

The tick species that carry RMSF are the American dog tick, the Rocky Mountain wood tick, and the brown dog tick.

What Are the Symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever?

RMSF is difficult to diagnose. Symptoms may not materialize until nearly two weeks after infection.

If you’ve been infected with RMSF, you may notice any or all of the following symptoms (according to the CDC):

  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Lack of Appetite
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Stomach Cramps

The most tell-tale sign of RMSF is the notorious rash. Typically, the rash appears around 3 days after being infected. It can appear as red splotches or red pin-prick dots. It often appears first on the wrists, forearms, legs and ankles. The rash may eventually spread to the palms or trunk.

Late-stage symptoms of RMSF can include conjunctivitis, joint pain, and severe stomach pain.

Why is Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Dangerous?

RMSF poses several health risks.

The infection attacks the cells lining the body’s blood vessels which can lead to hemorrhaging and life-threateningly low blood pressure. If left untreated, the infection can cause kidney damage, brain inflammation, jaundice and liver injury.

The current treatment of choice for RMSF is doxycycline. When treated within 5 days of infection, most individuals recover completely.

How Can You Avoid Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever?

There is currently no vaccine available for this infection. The best way to prevent infection is by avoiding tick bites.

Ticks live in grassy, wooded areas. They are also found on many animals. If you garden, camp or hike regularly, you’re more likely to come in contact with ticks.

Check yourself for ticks each time you go outside. Check your pets for ticks each day. Treat your clothing and camping gear with anti-parasite creams like permethrin (Nix) to reduce the risk of tick bites while you’re outside.

After going outside, remove all clothing and tumble dry your clothes on high heat. Shower immediately. Check your body carefully for ticks, especially areas that you can’t see. Use a hand-held mirror to check your back or have a family member help you check.

If you find a tick on your body, remove it immediately. Grasp the tick firmly with tweezers and remove its entire body by pulling straight out. Pay attention to any signs of illness that follow in the days after you remove the tick from your body. Visit a healthcare provider immediately if you experience a rash or a fever.

If you’re experiencing tick-related illness, Physicians Urgent Care is here to help.

Our four Middle Tennessee Physicians Urgent Care locations are open seven days a week to care for you should you experience symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever:

West Nashville –  On Charlotte Pike, in front of the Nashville West Shopping Center

Brentwood –  Off Old Hickory Blvd, near Firebirds and the Well Coffee Shop

Berry Farms – Located off the Goose Creek Bypass in the Berry Farms Town Center, just down from Publix.

Franklin – On the corner of Route 96 & Carothers Parkway in front of Williamson County Medical Center.

4 Things You Should Know About Hives

Posted by on June 1, 2018

Hives

Summer is here! Finally, you can enjoy long hours of sunlight, green grass, lush trees, swimming and BBQs. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to enjoy anything if you’re dealing with a pesky summer illness–like hives.

Hives are a common (and annoying) health condition that many of us find perplexing.

What are they? What causes them? Why do some people get them and others don’t?

Keep reading for some key information about hives (also known as urticaria).

What Are Hives?

Hives–or urticaria–is a skin reaction that results in raised, red welts or bumps. These welts can often be itchy and irritated. Sometimes, they burn or sting.

Urticaria can appear as a single welt or several welts in a patch, forming what is known as a plaque. These itchy welts can last anywhere from 6-12 hours, but they often disappear sooner.

Hives Are Common During The Summer

Believe it or not, there is a form of hives that occurs as a response to a body’s own sweat.

This condition, cholinergic urticaria, is sometimes known as heat bumps. Cholinergic urticaria occurs as a reaction to the immunoglobulin released in sweat during exercise or a raise in body temperature.

Because we spend more time outside in the heat during summer, cases of heat-related urticaria are more common during the summer months.

Urticaria can be caused by more than sweating, however.

Many people have allergies to shellfish, and break out in itchy, red welts if they consume shrimp, crab, oysters, lobster or scallops. Many of us consume more seafood during the summer, especially if we go on vacation to tropical or beach locales.  

It’s important to be aware of shellfish ingredients at any new restaurant, picnic or cookout, no matter the time of year.

Other causes of hives?

  • Medications
  • Allergens (pollen, pet dander, latex)
  • Tight clothing
  • Underlying medical conditions
  • Alcohol

Talk to your doctor about underlying health conditions that may be causing your hive outbreak if you can’t figure out a culprit.

Hives Can Appear Anywhere On The Body

Many people think urticaria can only appear on the face, neck and chest.

In fact, it can appear anywhere on the body. Cases of urticaria have been reported on the feet, hands, legs and back. It’s important to be aware of your hives outbreak, even if the welts pop up on unusual parts of the body.

When Should You See A Doctor About Your Hives?

Urticaria generally subsides within a few hours and leave no skin abrasions or marks behind.

However, you should see a medical professional for urticaria that last more than a few days. Similarly, hives that appear as the result of an allergic reaction should be monitored closely. Visit your doctor immediately if you notice your breathing becomeing heavier or labored after a hives breakout.

Our four Middle Tennessee Physicians Urgent Care locations are open seven days a week to care for you should you experience any summertime illness.

West Nashville –  On Charlotte Pike, in front of the Nashville West Shopping Center

Brentwood –  Off Old Hickory Blvd, near Firebirds and the Well Coffee Shop

Berry Farms – Located off the Goose Creek Bypass in the Berry Farms Town Center, just down from Publix.

Franklin – On the corner of Route 96 & Carothers Parkway in front of Williamson County Medical Center.