You signed up your child for summer camp or sports, and now you discover that they need a physical before they can participate. And they need it now. Your regular physician is booked three weeks out. What’s a parent to do?
Look to Urgent Care.
Seriously? For a quick physical?
“All of our Urgent Care centers are prepared to do that,” says Jeremy Darter, Outreach Coordinator for
UCHealth Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine.
“We’re located all around the city now, so we’ll have a facility nearby to serve most families’ needs,” he said.
There are five Urgent Care centers scattered geographically around the Pikes Peak region. One is at Powers at Barnes, another at Voyageur and North Gate, and one is on West Garden of the Gods Road. A fourth is at Circle near Janitell and a new one just opened at the Falcon Medical Center.
They are convenient because they also are open evenings and weekends, which helps working parents. And no appointment is necessary. To prevent wait times, parents can get in queue online in advance and be “in line” when they walk in the door, instead of joining an existing one.
The new program serves a community need and the cost is just $30, Darter added. Because many insurance policies don’t cover these physicals, this program makes them affordable.
Exams generally take only about 20 minutes.
“It’s very quick,” he said.
It typically includes a child’s medical history and a physical exam, i.e. blood pressure, pulse, temperature, height weight, medications, allergies, heart and lung sounds, reflexes, vision and an overall physical check. Then the provider fills out the required form.
“After all, that’s why they’re really here,” he said.
There are no other tests, unless the examining provider detects something is wrong. Then the patient is referred to their pediatrician or family physician for follow-up.
A summary of the visit is sent to the child’s regular physician.
Every minor (under age 18) must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, and parents are reminded that if the child wears glasses or contacts, they should be brought to the examination. And don’t forget the forms.
“These exams make sure a child is healthy and ready to participate in any sports or activity,” Darter said. “And it provides a good chance to talk to parents about their child’s health needs” while engaging in strenuous activity.
They even give parents information on how to tell if their child has had a concussion and how to identify other health issues that can come up,” such as dehydration.
“I remember when I played high school football in the 1990s, our coach withheld water from us,” Darter said. “That’s just crazy!”
Walk-ins are welcome or you can reserve your spot online by visiting uchealth.org/urgent-care and selecting your desired clinic location.