FastMed Blog

Why You Should Get Your Flu Shots Now

0 Comment(s) |

Why You Should Get Your Flu Shots Now

Getting your annual influenza shots is the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu. Roughly one in every five Americans get the flu every year. Keep your vaccination current to stay healthy and to avoid passing the flu on to others.

Influenza is highly contagious and can be a serious or, in some cases, deadly. Between 1976 and 2007, the average number of flu-associated deaths in the U.S. was between 3,000-49,000 people. Flu season can last for almost six months, from October all the way into May. Influenza viruses are respiratory, and people who have influenza can pass it on to others by coughing, sneezing, or talking. You can also contract the flu by touching a surface where the virus is present, then touching your mouth, eyes, or nose. Good hygiene is especially important during flu season. Don’t forget to wash your hands!

If you’re in a high-risk group, or if you’re regularly around someone who is, you should be even more proactive about keeping your vaccination up to date. Everyone over the age of six months should get the flu vaccine. Children under five are at the highest risk, especially if they’re younger than two years old, as well as pregnant women and anyone suffering from a chronic health condition. Seniors are especially vulnerable, accounting for around 90 percent of all flu-related deaths each season.

Flu prevention is easy. Vaccinations are readily available and easily administered nasally or via a flu shot. Influenza strains are constantly changing, so vaccines need to be updated annually to remain effective. There are several preventive vaccines available for the current flu season. If you have been exposed to someone with the flu but you haven’t been vaccinated, there are FDA-approved antiviral medications available. These drugs have a 70-90 percent effective rate. The sooner you are treated, the better your chances are of avoiding infection.

Getting vaccinated every year is a wise choice to stay out in front of the virus. To avoid catching the flu this year, stick with these precautions and visit FastMed Urgent Care to get your vaccination as soon as possible



FastMed Opens to Hickory, NC Residents November 15

0 Comment(s) | | by Reuel Heyden |

FastMed Urgent Care Opens in Hickory, North Carolina

FastMed Urgent Care has opened its 41st full service urgent care clinic in Hickory, North Carolina today.

Located at the corner of McDonald Parkway southeast and Highway 70 southeast, FastMed is next to Hickory Furniture Mart and just in front of Valley Connection YMCA. FastMed is also neighbors with Applebee's, Holiday Inn Express and Valley Crossing Shopping Center. FastMed is only minutes from Catawba Community College and Valley Hills Mall in Hickory.

FastMed Urgent Care in Hickory provides walk-in treatment seven days a week 365 days a year, has on-site digital x-ray and lab services and accepts most insurances and self-pay patients. FastMed clinics see and treat patients for acute injuries and illnesses, and provide other services including athletic sports physicals, DOT physicals for work and drug screens.

Through the end of November, FastMed in Hickory will be providing tours, education on available urgent care services, free blood pressure checks, an opportunity to meet FastMed providers and clinical staff and a small token of appreciation for visiting.

For more information, visit our FastMed Hickory clinic’s website page by clicking HERE or call: 828.404.3656.


From I40, FastMed is exit 125 when heading east, onto Lenoir-Rhyne Parkway Southeast then a left onto Highway 70 Southeast.

From I40 heading west, take exit 126 onto McDonald Parkway Southeast and FastMed is less than a mile away at the corner of Highway 70 S. East and McDonald Parkway.

Thanksgiving Kitchen Safety [INFOGRAPHIC]

0 Comment(s) |

Thanksgiving Kitchen Safety [INFOGRAPHIC]

There’s no time like the holidays for family togetherness. When you gather with loved ones for Thanksgiving later this month, one of the main attractions will be the traditional dinner. With all that activity in the kitchen, the risk of an accident is higher than ever. Here are a few simple reminders to help you navigate Thanksgiving and stay safe from harm.

Too Hot to Handle

Cooking requires heat, and heat can cause burns. Always keep an oven mitt or towel handy to use when picking up hot pots or pans. The same goes for serving dishes and plates. Stay safe and protect your hands from harm – now you’re cooking with gas!

Cut with Care

Knives are necessary tools, but a careless moment can end up in a trip to the emergency room. Don’t ruin your holiday dinner – always be mindful of knives and other sharp objects when you’re preparing and serving food.

Play it safe – keep the number for your local FastMed Urgent Care on hand in your kitchen. You’ll be glad you did!

More Convenient Care Coming to the Carolinas in 2014

0 Comment(s) | | by Reuel Heyden |

FastMed in North Carolina Expands with Five New Locations

North Carolinians will have even greater access to quality, convenient urgent care facilities directly in their local communities before the end of the 2014. FastMed urgent care is opening five new full service medical clinics in North Carolina.

Candler, NC
FastMed in Candler will be opening December 6 just off I40 Exit 44 on Smokey Park highway across from the Buncombe Count Sports Park in the former Blockbuster Video store near Bi-Lo Gas, Ultratan, and just down from CVS Pharmacy. Click HERE for FastMed in Candler.

Hickory, NC
FastMed will be located in the new shopping development at the intersection of US Highway 70 Southeast and Startown Road/McDonald Parkway near The Gold King, Kangaroo Express and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. FastMed in Hickory opens November 15! Click HERE for FastMed in Hickory.

Leland, NC
Opening December 30 and located just off of highway 74/76, FastMed will be at the corner of Village Road and Fairview Road, near Advance Auto Parts, Go Gas and across the street from the Post Office, BB&T, Pop Shoppe and Citgo Gas station. Click HERE for FastMed in Leland.

Rockingham, NC
FastMed will be located in East Rockingham off of business 74 and just down the street from First Health Richmond memorial hospital. We are directly in front of Lowe’s Home Improvement and across the street from the Chevrolet Dealer.  Opening December 30, click HERE for FastMed in Rockingham.

Roxboro, NC
December 6, FastMed will be opening in Roxboro conveniently in Madison Corners Shopping Center with CVS Pharmacy, Little Caesars and Toreo’s Mexican on North Madison Boulevard between Carver Drive and Breckenridge Street. Click HERE for FastMed in Roxboro.

FastMed Urgent Care centers provide walk-in medical treatment for urgent injuries and illnesses 7 days a week, 365 days a year, including holidays, accept major insurance, have a self-pay discount program and accept all major forms of payment (credit card, debit card, check).

FastMed clinics see and treat patients with a wide range of acute medical injuries and illnesses, and provide occupational medicine such as post-accident injuries, pre-employment drug screens and DOT physicals. Click HERE for a complete list of services. All FastMed clinics are equipped with onsite labs, digital x-rays and electronic medical records. Every FastMed clinic holds The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for accreditation in compliance with the Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in ambulatory health care, meaning you as a FastMed patient can count on high quality health care.


Common Sports Injuries: Plantar Fasciitis

0 Comment(s) |

Common Sports Injuries: Plantar Fasciitis

It is one of the most common causes of foot pain. Despite this, you may have experienced plantar fasciitis without knowing what it was called. Perhaps you’ve felt a stabbing sensation as soon as you get up and on your feet in the morning. The feeling usually goes away quickly, but it can come back throughout the day if you spend a lot of time on your feet or after you stand up after being seated.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

If you’re a runner, you’re more likely to have experienced plantar fasciitis due to the repeated, stressful impact that running has on your feet. It is also common in people who wear shoes that don’t offer adequate support, or who may be overweight. All of these lead to the tissue on the bottom of your foot overstretching as it flattens when it comes into contact with the ground.


So what is the source of all this discomfort? The plantar fascia is a thick, wide band of tissue that runs along the underside of your foot from the heel to the just under the base of your toes. It supports the arch on the bottom, or plantar, side of your foot. Originally, it was thought that the plantar fascia became inflamed, but more recent studies suggest that this might be a degenerative condition. This may eventually lead to the condition being renamed, but that won’t affect how plantar fasciitis is treated.


There isn’t a cure for this condition, but there are several treatments than can offset the pain and discomfort you experience from plantar fasciitis. To really address the condition over time, the direct cause has to be addressed in addition to treating the symptoms. For example, a runner might need to adjust their form, or an overweight individual may consider buying shoes that offer more support. The bad news is that it can take up to 18 months to resolve plantar fasciitis – a frustratingly long time for anyone used to being able to move around freely.

The best way to ease the pain is to rest the foot as much as possible. This can be difficult, especially for people with a job that requires them to be on their feet throughout the day. In the short term, taping the injury appropriately can give support while decreasing discomfort. Applying ice or heat can reduce the initial pain, and strengthening and stretching exercises can help increase flexibility and strength. Other options include wearing a night splint, administering anti-inflammatories or corticosteroid injections or, ultimately, surgery.

Coping with plantar fasciitis and countering its effects can take a long time. Your best course of action is to recognize the condition when it begins to affect you and to seek treatment as soon as possible. There’s no better place to start than FastMed Urgent Care. Come see us to make sure you’re up and back on your feet again as soon as possible.


What Do I Need to Know About the Flu?

0 Comment(s) |

Confirmed cases of influenza have been seen in North Carolina as early as the beginning of September. The flu season typically lasts through March, but a few cases may pop up in June or July. Here is a quick rundown of what you need to know to keep you and your family flu-free.

What Are the Symptoms of the Flu?

Symptoms of flu usually last 5-7 days and can include: 

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny Nose
  • Sore Throat
  • Ear Ache

Who is Most Susceptible to Flu?

According to the CDC, not only are people who smoke more likely to get the flu, smokers’ mortality rate from influenza is higher than nonsmokers. Infants, patients over 65, diabetics and people who have an autoimmune disease are more likely to get the flu. If you or someone you live with is at high risk for contracting the flu, you should take some common sense steps to prevent infection. 

How Can I Prevent the Flu?

You can protect yourself from the flu by getting your flu shot and by practicing proper hygiene like keeping your office workstation clean and washing your hands regularly. Everyone over the age of 6 months should get the flu shot when vaccines are distributed in late summer or early fall. At the very latest, you should be vaccinated by October, since flu vaccine takes roughly two weeks to begin providing full protection. 

Is There a Reason I Shouldn’t get a Flu Shot? 

There are some cases when you should not get the typical seasonal flu shot. If you have a fever over 100 degrees or are allergic to eggs, you shouldn’t get the standard vaccine. FastMed can help you seek out the best alternative flu shot method. Regardless of the type of vaccine you receive, the protection provided by the vaccine is the only sure method for preventing the flu 

Will Flu Vaccine give me the Flu?

You could feel a bit feverish or fatigued after receiving an intramuscular flu shot, but you will not actually get the flu. The vaccine is made from a dead virus, and a dead virus cannot make you sick.

If you think you may have the flu, seek help from a medical professional as soon as symptoms arise so that you can get treatment fast. FastMed can assess you for signs and symptoms of the flu and deliver a rapid diagnosis. If you do have the flu, antiviral medications can be prescribed within the first 48 hours of diagnosis. The full course of antibiotics will be taken over 7 days and can decrease viral shedding (how contagious you may be to others) and reduce the chance of further complications.

Combining Education and Exercise: Ward Elementary School's Read and Ride Program

0 Comment(s) | | by Reuel Heyden |

The Read and Ride Program held at Ward Elementary in Winston-Salem was first developed by Scott Ertl. Ertl, who has been the counselor for 18 years, is always trying to come up with new things that can be done to help kids learn and feel better in school and in life.

Ertl started the Read and Ride Program in 2009, and explained there are two focuses for the program:

  1. To promote literacy and make reading fun for kids
    Reading can be frustrating, and the more frustrating it is, the less fun it becomes. By riding bikes while reading, the kids can stay calm and even understand more while they read. It also makes reading more fun.
  2. To prevent childhood obesity
    By participating in the Read and Ride Program, the kids at have one more opportunity to be active and exercise during the school day. 

As the school counselor, Ertl works with kids who are overweight and don’t like to participate in PE class or games at recess because they feel down about themselves. With the stationary bikes, there is no competition or last place. They can take a breather and relax for a minute with no shame about stopping. Ertl says having your own stationary bike also allows you to pace yourself, and do what you can.  

At Ward Elementary, there is a Read and Ride classroom with 30 stationary exercise bikes. Teachers can bring their class to this classroom, and allow students to Read and Ride for 10-15 minutes. This is a great outlet when the weather is bad and outside recess is not an option. The room is also used for teacher’s bonus periods, and the kids see it as a reward to Read and Ride.

In addition, Ward Elementary has stationary bikes in the corner of seven different classrooms - teachers use the classroom bikes as motivation, and the kids love it!

For more information on the Read and Ride Program, click here. For the Fast Company story and photos click here. There are many forms of active learning, including yoga balls, stand-up desks, and bouncy bands.

FastMed Supports NC Chamber 2014 Annual Health Care Conference

0 Comment(s) | | by Reuel Heyden |

FastMed Urgent Care was proud to join the NC Chamber of Commerce as a supporting sponsor of the 2014 Health Care Conference in Durham, North Carolina October 23.

FastMed joined Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Novant Health, GlaxoSmithKline and others at the annual event put on the NC Chamber with notable speakers including Katie Mahoney, Executive Director, Health Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Brad Wilson, President and CEO, BCBSNC.  Aetna, GlaxoSmithKline, SAS, ActiveHealth Management, and CeiloStar were all presenters.

Sessions included the landscape of health care currently, trends, coming changes and reform including those brought on by the Affordable Care Act, delivery of health care, access, costs, the role of Accountable Care Organizations, impact of technology on modern medicine and the impact of all of these changes upon North Carolinians.

For more information on the NC Chamber of Commerce 2014 Health Care Conference click here.