Well Child Visit
What Happens During a Well Child Visit?
During a well-child visit, the young patient is thoroughly checked from head to toe to determine that they are physically meeting growth markers that have been established by medical professionals. These growth and development markers are based on the national average of other children of the same age. The doctor will also give the child vaccinations according to a schedule that has been developed to help keep children protected from many different deadly illnesses. The doctor will talk to the parents and address any concerns they may have about how their child is developing and any changes that need to be made to the child's diet.
How Often Are Well Child Visits Scheduled?
After the first month, well child visits are normally scheduled for every two to three months up until the age of 2 years. Another checkup will be performed at two and a half years. After the age of three, well child visits are scheduled once a year. The frequency of the visits during the first 2 years is due to how quickly the child grows during that period and the rate at which their motor functions develop. Making sure each marker is met is incredibly important to ensure the child grows as they should. When milestones are missed, doctors will perform tests to uncover why. If the cause is found early enough, the situation may be able to be corrected.
Are Vaccinations Given Every Time?
Vaccinations are not given every time. If a child is sick or misses an appointment, the vaccination schedule will be adjusted so the child remains up-to-date on all of the vaccinations they need. A specific number of vaccinations must be received prior to the child's first year of school. While vaccinations are important, checking the child for developmental markers often will take precedence to ensure the child is growing normally for their age. During the child's first visit to the doctor, the parents will be provided a card with all of the noted vaccinations and when they are to be received. As long as all of the appointments are made, the child will remain on course with their vaccination schedule
What Does a Family Medicine Physician Treat?
Family medicine is a specialty which provides healthcare to a patient throughout their lives, not just at a particular age or due to a specific condition. Family physicians offer an array of services to address a patient’s chronic, acute, and preventative medical health needs. In addition to diagnosing and addressing disease and medical issues, they also offer comprehensive general care such as annual checkups, health-risk evaluations, immunizations and screening tests, and tailored counseling on healthy lifestyle maintenance. A practice that focuses on family medicine offers many generalized healthcare programs, including:
- Pediatric medicine - Pediatric medicine involves the care of children and preteens. This can include chronic ear infections, chicken pox, etc. Pediatric medicine also includes regular wellness checks and any other health issues a child may face.
- Immunizations - A family practice offers immunizations for people of all ages, starting at just a few months to adulthood.
- Preventative healthcare - Preventative health care involves various types of testing including, mammograms, prostate exams, colonoscopies, etc.
Do Family Medicine Doctors Have Specialized Functions?
One of the most important responsibilities of a family doctor is the coordination of medical care. The family doctor makes referrals to specialists but continues to coordinate care and oversee all medical care activities. Family doctors provide what is called a patient medical home. They get copies of records from specialists and incorporate the specialists' recommendation into day-to-day care. They also ensure that things don't get overlooked when the responsibility for care is shared among several physicians.
Does Family Medicine Include Primary Care?
Yes, Annual checkups with the family doctor are an integral aspect of family medicine. These appointments are crucial to developing long-term relationships with the doctor because regular checkups are the best way to monitor any changes in your health.
What Does a Doctor Look for During a Physical Exam?
During an annual physical exam, doctors will look for any changes in the patient's health that may indicate the potential for more dangerous medical issues. Blood pressure readings, blood glucose checks, breathing patterns, and reflexes are all reviewed to screen for any medical conditions not yet presenting obvious symptoms. If a doctor does notice an irregularity in the blood pressure, for example, he may order additional tests to confirm what he believes may be going on. Or, he may ask the patient to come back into the office in three to six months to have the tests taken again. If the results are the same, more tests will probably be ordered to uncover the cause.
How Often Should a Person Receive a Physical?
Most doctors recommend getting a physical every one to two years, depending on a person's general health and their family's medical history. Some jobs require a person to get a physical every year. A person who drives commercial vehicles is required by law to pass a CDL physical every year to maintain their driving privileges. Patients who are recovering from a major illness, accident, or have been diagnosed with a long-term, chronic illness may need to be seen every three to six months depending on the severity of their condition. Every patient is different and will handle their illnesses in their own way. Many can function quite well in taking care of themselves, while others need to be closely monitored.
What is the Purpose of a Sports Physical?
A sports physical is used to determine whether or not a student is in good enough health to participate in a strenuous sport. The doctor will closely evaluate their heart, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, as well as their overall physical condition. Doctors will look for any health condition that can be triggered by an injury or strenuous physical activity. Children who have a history of asthma or severe allergies will be closely watched as to how their body responds during periods of heavy exertion. The doctor will also check their physical reflexes to determine how structurally healthy they are as well.
What Kinds of Cases Can an Urgent Care Facility Treat?
Urgent care facilities are designed to handle a wide variety of emergencies that are not considered to be traumatic, life-threatening, or that have the potential to be life threatening. Most urgent care centers are set up to handle the cases that need immediate care after a doctor's normal business hours. These include cases that involve, high fevers, dehydration, possible broken bones, concussions, and any other type of injury or illness that requires emergency attention. Urgent care centers will often pick up the overflow of an emergency room if there is a serious accident that involves multiple injuries and the ER is full.
When Will a Patient be Directed to an Emergency Room?
An urgent care facility will direct a patient to an emergency room if they have a traumatic injury, such as internal injuries, life-threatening injuries that involve head trauma, and other serious conditions that may result in loss of life if the appropriate measures are not taken. While urgent care facilities are capable of handling many different types of cases, the staff may not have the knowledge and expertise of a highly skilled trauma team. They will also not have access to certain types of equipment that may be needed in life-threatening situations. If there is ever a question as to whether or not an injury or illness is life threatening, opt for the emergency room as the safest option.
Who Can Benefit From Urgent Care?
Parents of small children who are running a high fever or have fallen and received a non-life threatening injury are ideal candidates for urgent care. Athletes who have been injured at a sporting event will also benefit from urgent care. Urgent care practitioners can treat many patients in a much shorter amount of time than many emergency rooms. While emergency rooms can take several hours handling one trauma case, an urgent care doctor can see several patients and reduce their waiting time by as much as half. Urgent care doctors are also able to handle severe and chronic illnesses.