Types of Physical Exams

Your primary care provider (PCP) conducts regular tests to determine the status of your overall health. One can discuss changes or problems during those meetings with your PCP. In the following article, let’s look at various types of Physical exams.

Primary care health screening

Many students schedule a periodic physical exam to check on their health. Primary care health screenings are covered by the student health fee and has no charge.

Third-party-requested physical exam

This is a physical examination required by a third party, usually a potential employer or a study abroad program. This type of physical is not covered by the student health fee and has an additional charge. If lab tests or immunizations are required to complete this physical, there is also a charge for those.

Peace Corps physical exam

This is a specific type of third-party physical with an extensive physical exam. It is not covered by the student health fee and has an additional charge. There is also a charge for any immunizations required to complete the exam. Read the complete article here…

The next question which arises is what exactly happens during the Physical exam?

What are the areas of your body that the examiner inspects? In the following article, we look at it in detail.

The Physical Examination and Health Assessment

Many people who visit the doctor or health care provider’s office wonder: “What are they doing?”, “What are they looking for?” During a physical examination, there are many things that your health care provider may be looking for as they are gathering cues and clues during the short time you are in the office. Some of the clues are based on the spoken information that you provide, or they may be based on physical examination findings.

During a health assessment, diagnosing an illness, disorder, or a condition is like a puzzle. Diagnosis often includes laboratory studies, radiology studies to look at certain organs, and the physical exam itself.  This process is called data collection. Before modern technology, it was important for health care providers to perfect their physical examination techniques, because x-ray machines, scanners, and echocardiograms were non-existent.

In a physical examination, there are many things that your health care provider can find out by using their hands to feel (palpate), stethoscope and ears to listen, and eyes to see.  Findings that are present on the physical exam may by themselves diagnose, or be helpful to diagnose, many diseases. The components of a physical exam include:

Physical Examination and Inspection

Your examiner will look at, or “inspect” specific areas of your body for normal color, shape and consistency. Certain findings on “inspection” may alert your health care provider to focus other parts of the physical exam on certain areas of your body. For example, your legs may be swollen. Your health care provider will then pay special attention to the common things that cause leg swelling, such as extra fluid caused by your heart, and use this information to help them make a diagnosis.  Common areas that are inspected may include:

  • Your skin – to look for bruising, cuts, moles or lumps
  • Your face and eyes – to see if they are even and “normal”
  • Your neck veins – to see if these are bulging, distended (swollen)
  • Your chest and abdomen (stomach area) – to see if there are any masses, or bulges
  • Your legs – to see if there are any swelling
  • Your muscles – to check for good muscle tone
  • Your elbows and joints – check for swelling and inflammation, if any deformities are present. Click here to know more…
  • Once your physical examination is done then it’s time to wait for reports and an update from your doctor.

Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine

It’s that time of the year when you have to protect yourself from diseases. Flu season is starting from October and will be there till May. Hence, it is important that your immunity is high. Flu shots not only protect you from viruses, but they also increase your immunity levels. We take a closer look at why people should get vaccinated and how they work in the following paragraphs.

Influenza is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently, but millions of people get the flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu. Vaccination has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children. Read more here…

There are several circulating myths about flu shots and many people around the world still believe these myths, thus refusing to get vaccinated. In this video, UCLA shares with us some myths and facts about flu shots.  Now that you know you have to get a flu shot, the next step is to find the nearest center where you can take one. Below, Sara Chodosh shows us how to find one.

Still, need a flu shot? Here’s how to find one near you

The CDC works in conjunction with an organization called HealthMap to run Vaccine Finder, a website that tells you can get any type of vaccine near your provided zip code or address. You can even search specifically for certain types of flu shot, like the cell-based (the one people with egg allergies used to get, though it turns out they can get the normal shot too) or high-dose versions, if you want or need one in particular. It also lists how much the vaccine will cost you if it costs anything at all. This will largely depend on what your insurance covers, so if there’s no price listed online that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily free, just that some clinics have listed their charges up front. Most pharmacies list their prices online, or you can call to check. Many are totally free, especially if you have Medicaid. Find more information by clicking here… Find the nearest flu shot center and get your vaccine. The flu season has started and it’s about time you get your dose.

7 Questions When Choosing an Urgent Care

It’s time to go to Urgent Care when your regular doctor is not available. Urgent care centers treat those injuries which are serious enough but do not fall under the purview of an emergency department. In the article below, we try to answer questions related to Immediate Care.

With over 7,000 urgent care centers across the U.S., it goes without saying that the urgent care market is booming. And it’s easy to see the appeal. As health care costs continue to rise, urgent care facilities provide an attractive alternative to the high price tags and long waits at emergency rooms.

Doctors Immediate Care

In our Northern Colorado stomping grounds, the exponentially rising population is only adding fuel to the already roaring urgent care industry – spurring the development of more urgent care and related facilities that range from hospital-affiliated and independent urgent care centers to retail clinics and freestanding ERs.

(Fun fact: the Front Range now has 50 freestanding ER departments, the third largest number of these facilities in the nation.)

With this overwhelming proliferation of options in our area, it can be difficult and downright confusing for patients to know where to go for fast, convenient, and affordable urgent care services. More info here… Now you know the questions which you should ask.

The next question to answer is: “Under which circumstances should you visit Urgent Care?” Let’s look at the same in detail below.

Reasons To Visit Urgent Care

Working to feel your best every day is just one thing you’ll want to do. The key to making this possible is by addressing certain medical conditions as these arise. It’s ideal to visit an urgent care in your area if you have a health emergency so you can get immediate attention. Being aware of some common reasons to do so may be helpful.

Ear problems

Suddenly not being able to hear as well as you once did may create a great deal of anxiety for you. This could be due to many factors, but it’s possible you may need to have the wax removed from your ear canal.

Seeing a professional to get this done is one of the things an urgent care provider can do, and you may leave hearing and feeling a lot better once you do so. Read more here…

Choosing to go to an Urgent Care facility instead of the Emergency Room has its perks. However, you have to be careful in assessing whether your illness or injury really requires Urgent Care attention or if it is life-threatening.

Here are some things that people who visit Urgent Care clinics enjoy:

Shorter wait times

Wait times at most urgent care clinics average between 10-35 minutes, with many having less than a 15- to 20-minute wait time. This is significant. According to Pro Publica, the average length of time that people in the US spend in the emergency department—from when they get to the ER to discharge/admissions—is 2 hours and 15 minutes. Many urgent care locations also offer online check-in and calling ahead, much like making an appointment with a primary care physician the day of. Where once people would bear through a flu to avoid long wait times, meaning staying sicker longer and missing more work, the convenience of urgent cares have made this unnecessary.

Lower costs

There is a significant difference between costs for outpatient care at urgent cares vs. emergency departments at hospitals. In fact, ER hospital visits are 4x more expensive than most urgent care treatments for non-life threatening illnesses. See full article here…

Knowing about Urgent Care clinics and the benefits of going there instead of the Emergency Room can make a lot of difference when it comes to expenses and the waiting time that you have to allocate in order to get treated. However, it is important to stress that lowering possible costs should not be at the expense of the person’s health. Remember: assess the situation wisely!

Related resources:

13 Things Urgent Care Center Docs Won’t Tell You
Urgent care centers grow with demand for convenience
5 Major Advantages of Urgent Care Over Hospital ER’s

 

 

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