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 and Occupational Medicine.
“We’re located all around Colorado Springs now, so we’ll have a facility nearby to serve most families’ needs,” he said.
The Urgent Care centers are open evenings and weekends, which helps working parents. No appointment is necessary. To prevent wait times, parents can get in queue online (at www.UCHealth.org ) in advance and be “in line” when they walk in the door, instead of joining an existing one. The cost of a physical is $30, Darter added. Because many insurance policies don’t cover these physicals, this program makes them affordable.
Exams generally take only about 20 minutes, and 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.
“It’s very quick,” he said.
If a provider detects an issue during the physical, the patient is referred to his or her 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!”
There are five Urgent Care centers scattered geographically around the Pikes Peak region. One is at Powers at Barnes, another at Voyager 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. School physicals are not offered at the Circle Square location.
Walk-ins are welcome or you can reserve your spot online by visiting uchealth.org/urgent-care and selecting your desired clinic location.