From Baptist Health South Florida
3 min. read
It’s “Back to School” time for students across South Florida and many parents know exactly what that means: waiting for hours at the doctor’s office so their child can get the physical exam required by their school.
Santiago Peña, DSc, PA-C, an advanced practice provider (APP) supervisor for Baptist Health Urgent Care Express locations in Country Walk, Key Biscayne and Coral Springs, spoke with Resource editors about why visiting Urgent Care Express for that exam might be a better option. School and sports physical exams are only $25 and usually take just about an hour, he says, which means parents can save both time and money by having their child’s exam done at Urgent Care Express.
Resource: Is “Back to School” a busy time of year for Baptist Health Urgent Care?
Mr. Peña: For many families, gearing up for the new school year means getting updated physical exams for school entry or sports physicals if their child wants to participate in athletics. So, yes, we’re busy this time of year but if you’re coming for a physical exam, we can usually get you in and out of here in an hour or so.
Resource: What services does Baptist Health Urgent Care offer for student-athletes who are required by their schools to undergo a physical exam?
Mr. Peña: We provide a preparticipation physical evaluation (PPE) or sports physical for student-athletes. This entails getting the patient’s detailed medical history, performing a comprehensive physical examination and, if needed, obtaining an electrocardiogram (ECG).
Resource: How long does a physical exam typically take?
Mr. Peña: The physical exam itself is typically not long. There’s some time dedicated to reviewing the reported medical history and completing the required forms. Most encounters take no more than an hour from the time the patient is placed in a room.
Resource: Who performs the exams?
Mr. Peña: At Baptist Health Urgent Care Express, we have an excellent team of nurse practitioners and physician assistants who are well-versed on the examination components of the PPE.
Resource: What are some of the conditions you see that might be a red flag and disqualify the student from participating in sports?
Mr. Peña: Examples of typical concerning findings that would require further evaluation or be disqualifying are a history of losing consciousness, chest pain or difficulty breathing when exercising, pathologic heart murmurs which may suggest structural heart disease, persistent musculoskeletal pain after an injury, or loss of function in one of any paired organs, to name a few.
Resource: What if the student needs additional diagnostics or care?
Mr. Peña: We’ll inform the patient and caregiver of the abnormal findings that require further evaluation and explain which specialists should be scheduled. We’ll also advise them of any symptoms to watch for while they’re awaiting further evaluation.
Resource: Why should parents choose Baptist Health Urgent Care Express for their child’s physical exam?
Mr. Peña: At Baptist Urgent Care Express, we pride ourselves on providing an excellent patient experience and optimal medical evaluation at an affordable price – just $25 for the PPE. If an ECG is required, there is an additional charge of $50 and that test is reviewed and signed by a staff cardiologist. That’s something many other centers can’t offer. Even if the ECG turns up nothing, if one was recommended for your child, wouldn’t you want a cardiologist to review it?
Resource: Can people make appointments for school physicals at Urgent Care Express?
Mr. Peña: Absolutely. Patients can save their spot online or use the PineApp on their mobile devices and select the “Save My Spot” option. They would select “Urgent Care” as the reason for the visit and then type “sports physical” or “school physical” in the notes section.
Physical exams aside, there are other reasons many people seek care at Baptist Health Urgent Care Express this time of year, according to Mr. Peña.
“As the first few weeks of school get underway, many students, teachers and staff are again spending their day in close proximity with others. When one of them gets a cold or other communicable illness, others are bound to get it, too,” he says, adding that most illnesses can be quickly diagnosed and treated at Urgent Care Express so that your child can feel better and get back to school. “Also, flu season will be here before long, so we’ll be administering vaccines and treatments for that, too.”
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