Spring fever

Addressing the challenges of another beautiful Alabama spring

 

Written by Dr. Lynette Zills, medical director at St. Vincent’s Urgent Care on the One Nineteen campus

 

Although I didn’t grow up in Alabama like my husband did, the injuries and illnesses I’m treating this spring at St. Vincent’s Urgent Care at One Nineteen are much like what my friends and family experience in rural Illinois.

While warmer weather assures us that winter is over, we can still have viruses and bacterial infections that pop up at the worst possible moment. Somehow fevers always seem to spike when physicians’ offices are closed.

But as you and I know, illnesses aren’t our only spring challenges. Sprains, strains and lacerations are more likely to happen when weekend warriors attack that overgrown shrubbery – or slide into second base. Although no one wants to visit an emergency room for something that’s not life threatening, a fish hook that gets stubbornly embedded on Saturday afternoon can’t wait until a Monday morning doctor’s appointment.

I guess that’s why I chose decades ago to not only specialize in family medicine, but in urgent care. It’s rewarding to be able to meet the immediate needs of patients when they can’t see their primary care doctor right away.

Although Urgent Care is no substitute for the emergency room – and we urge anyone to call 911 if they are experiencing any symptoms of a life-threatening emergency – we can address minor injuries and acute illnesses, including strep throat, colds, gastroenteritis and other all-ages concerns.

If our patients aren’t yet connected with a primary care doctor or need a specialist’s follow-up, we can help them connect with physicians who can provide that ongoing care.

This month we’re likely to see patients suffering from seasonal allergies. I also expect to see athletes, both young and old, walk in and take advantage of our late hours to address an injury after their evening run or game.

Others will use our online check-in option to reserve their spot in line, so an emerging ear infection can be easily addressed on their way home from work. We’ll see some of those weekend warriors on Sunday after they discover that overgrown shrubbery included a poison ivy patch.

So whether it’s the flu or a fish hook, we’re always happy to help as area residents address the challenges of another beautiful Alabama spring.

St. Vincent’s Urgent Care on the One Nineteen campus (just off U.S. 280, at 7191 Cahaba Valley Road, Hoover) now offers online check-in at stvurgentcare.com, so patients can reserve their spot and wait at home. Walk-ins are also welcome. Hours: Monday-Friday, 1-9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Call 408-2366.

 

Dr. Lynette Zills is the medical director at St. Vincent’s Urgent Care on the One Nineteen campus.