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Safeguard Your Health: Telemedicine and COVID-19 Testing

Amid this coronavirus pandemic, telemedicine is emerging as a vital part of the "new normal". Since the virus can be very contagious and may cause widespread transmission, many patients who need medical advice are now turning to telemedicine as their lifeline. 

Urgent Care Palm Beach Gardens now offers telemedicine urgent care in Florida. This service provides a way to treat patients without actual or in-person contact, promoting physical distancing. It serves as the first line of defence to ensure that the virus does not get transmitted to more people while the patients receive the medical guidance they need. 

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How COVID-19 Changed Telemedicine  

Virtually overnight, the coronavirus pandemic changed how patients receive medical care. For instance, as soon as states imposed lockdowns, Medicare expanded its coverage to include telemedicine for all ages. 

Before coronavirus, Medicare used to be strict about telemedicine for patients above 65 years old who live in remote or rural areas. Now, those above 65 years old are actually encouraged to get an assessment, especially if they suspect they have COVID-19, via telemedicine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also encourages clinics and healthcare providers to make their facilities COVID-19 ready with telemedicine

Getting Screened for COVID-19 via Telemedicine

Telemedicine COVID-19 check-ups are normally carried out through a phone or a computer connected to the internet. All the patients need to do is to schedule a telemedicine appointment with us and wait for our call. We will guide you on how to access our portal and go through a virtual or video screening. 

If video screening is not possible, we may also offer telephone screening. Regardless of the technology used (video or audio), our doctors will ask the patients if they are experiencing very common COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, dry cough, feeling tired or fatigued. 

According to the World Health Organization, some of the less common symptoms of coronavirus include:

  • headache
  • sore throat
  • body aches and pains
  • diarrhea
  • loss of taste or smell
  • difficulty in breathing 
  • chest pain  

Patients may also be asked if they were recently in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. If the doctor determines that the patient may need further tests, then this is the only time for the patient to be advised to undergo COVID-19 testing in Palm Beach. Patients who want to avail of COVID-19 testing will have to call our clinic or make an online appointment. We offer both nasopharyngeal swab test (also known as Polymerase Chain Reaction or PCR test) and IgG antibody test for immunity in all of our clinic locations.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, telemedicine referrals to testing sites must meet certain criteria. If the patient does not present a fever above 100.4°F, the best thing to do is to stay home, isolate, and regularly check in with the primary care provider through telemedicine check-ups. 

If you want to get treatment for other health concerns, our clinic locations remain open. For walk-in patients, please observe physical distancing, wear a mask, and observe other safety procedures. We make sure that our facility is safe and abides by strict health guidelines set by the CDC.

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Avail of our new services -  telemedicine urgent care in Florida, COVID-19 testing in Palm Beach

For your health concerns in the time of COVID-19, you may consult our physicians at Urgent Care of the Palm Beach Gardens through our telemedicine services. Our locations remain open seven days a week to deliver health services to our patients and the community:

Likewise, if you have any questions about COVID-19, feel free to contact our clinic. We are more than willing to answer any questions you might have about the disease.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

At work, at the store, at school - you can catch a cold anywhere. And it’s miserable! Naturally, to get some relief, you head to your walk-in clinic in Wellington and ask for drugs. The doctor complies, writing you a prescription for amoxicillin. But wait - didn’t you say you had a cold? Why are you taking antibiotics? There’s a big misunderstanding of what antibiotics do, and when you should use them.

What antibiotics are and how to use them

Antibiotics are a class of drugs that act against bacteria and are used in the treatment and prevention of bacterial infections. Common bacterial infections include bacterial pneumonia, strep throat, and a number of sexually transmitted infections. Antibiotics either inhibit the growth of these “bad” bacteria or kill them outright, which enables you to feel better.

Antibiotics are not, however, an effective class of drugs against viral infections or fungal infections. That means if you have the flu, Lyme disease, or hepatitis (all viruses), antibiotics are not going to help you feel better. Antibiotics also won’t work on fungal infections like yeast infections or athlete’s foot.

So what is a conscientious person to do, especially if they want to feel better? Well, the first thing is to be honest about what your illness is. If you have a cold, you can treat the symptoms and let the virus run its course. For serious viruses, like Hepatitis B or HIV, you can manage them with antiviral medications; for fungal infections, you need antifungal drugs.

If you have a bacterial infection, though, go to your walk-in clinic in Palm Springs, get that prescription and use it properly. That means taking the drugs exactly as the doctor prescribes them - every day, in the proper dosage, and until you’re finished. Don’t take an extra pill because you hope it will act faster; don’t stop taking the antibiotics when you feel better. Believe it or not, these are ways that can actually make you sicker in the long run. How?

Antibiotic resistance

The biggest concern about the overuse or misuse of antibiotics - i.e. when they are prescribed to treat viral or fungal infections or when they aren’t used as prescribed - is that they become less effective against the illnesses they’re meant to treat. When antibiotics are used improperly - and this also includes not taking the proper dosage or not finishing a course prescribed by your doctor, the bacteria which they fight against adapt and become stronger. Then, the antibiotic doesn’t work anymore and when you are sick with the same infection, you can’t treat it. See what we mean about getting sicker in the long run?

A famous example is strep throat. While this illness is awful in its basic form, it has evolved to an even more dangerous version called MRSA - or “methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus.” MRSA doesn’t respond to traditional antibiotics for strep and can be fatal. It also happens to be quite contagious, which is why you will hear reports of outbreaks in hospitals and communities.

Get better faster - Walk In Clinic Palm Springs

Have more questions about antibiotics? The staff at our walk-in clinic in Wellington are happy to answer any questions you have about your health. When you come in with symptoms, we don’t automatically prescribe antibiotics; we diagnose the root of the problem first. We are open 7 days a week for your convenience.

Locations

North Palm Beach / Palm Beach Gardens Clinic Location:

11951 US Highway 1 Suite 108,
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
(561) 429-6109

West Palm Beach / Palm Beach Clinic Location:

5818 South Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach, FL 33405
(561) 429-4779

Palm Springs / Forest Hill Blvd Clinic Location:

3537 Forest Hill Boulevard,
West Palm Beach, FL 33406
(561) 328-8433
© Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches 2022.

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