Even if you live a healthy lifestyle and practice preventive healthcare, you can still suffer injuries or become ill. Whether you’re battling a bug during flu season or dealing with a sudden injury, you may need medical care to address the issue. At Healthcare Associates of Texas, our compassionate acute care specialists can help you recover and get your health back on track.
What Is Acute Care?
Acute care involves active, short-term medical treatment for a specific illness or injury. Generally, this type of non-emergent care is provided in hospitals or medical clinics to address urgent needs. In contrast, long-term care assists patients who need daily medical treatment or supervision to function normally.
What Types of Injuries or Illnesses Require an Acute Care or Sick Visit?
Acute illnesses develop suddenly and typically run their course in a few days to a few weeks. Acute injuries also happen without warning and usually resolve relatively quickly. With appropriate treatment, the likelihood of recovering from these types of injuries or illnesses is high.
Patients frequently seek acute care for the following situations:
- Sudden, unexplained aches and pains
- Minor fractures and broken bones
- Wounds that may need stitches
- Falls and other forms of sudden physical trauma
- Sprains and strains
- Allergic reactions
- Bronchitis, pneumonia, and other respiratory infections
- Severe sore throat or persistent coughing
- Sinus infections
- Abdominal pain or vomiting
- Flu or other stomach viruses
- Severe and persistent diarrhea
- Persistent fever
- Urinary tract infections
- Breathing difficulties caused by asthma, allergies, or illness
Sudden, severe headaches, trouble breathing, severe abdominal pain, and some infections may also be signs of an underlying condition. If you or a loved one has any of these symptoms, prompt medical evaluation is recommended.
When Should I Schedule a Sick or Acute Care Visit?
If you have an acute illness that has lasted longer than it should have, consider scheduling a sick visit. You should also visit a doctor if you have unexplained, severe headaches or stomach pain.
If you’re over 50, have underlying health conditions, or are in a high-risk health bracket, you should also schedule a sick visit when you’re ill. Aging and pre-existing medical conditions can increase the risk of health problems associated with illnesses and injuries. It’s important to see a doctor for acute care to help prevent chronic conditions from developing or worsening.
If you suffer an acute injury, such as a sprain, strain, or wound, you should schedule an acute care visit. But if your injury requires immediate medical attention, it may be in your best interest to visit an emergency room instead.
What Happens at a Sick Visit or Acute Care Visit?
When you see a doctor for acute care or a sick visit, your provider will take your vitals and then talk with you about what you’re experiencing. You’ll discuss how long you’ve had symptoms, what they feel like, and what makes them better or worse.
If your injury or illness needs more in-depth diagnostic testing than your doctor can provide, you may get a referral to a specialist.
After making a diagnosis, your physician will provide medical treatment or advice to help you guide your body back to health. Treatment may include prescription medications or antibiotics, as well as at-home care recommendations.
At your visit, be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications and supplements you take. If you need new medicines to treat your injury or illness, your doctor must make sure they won’t interact negatively. If possible, make a list before your visit, so you don’t forget anything.
Will I Need a Follow-Up Visit After My Sick or Acute Care Visit?
It’s a good idea to follow up with your primary care provider after a sick or acute care visit, but it’s not always necessary. If, however, you received treatment for a problem that may require ongoing medical attention, it’s in your best interest to schedule a follow-up appointment.
At Healthcare Associates of Texas, our compassionate acute care providers are committed to providing you and your family members with personalized and effective medical treatment. Whether you’re experiencing an injury or acute illness, please call your local clinic or schedule an appointment online to discuss your needs and start your journey back to health.