At the South Pole, penguins are white, black and gold. They’re called Emperors. For our friend FastMed Fred, a purple penguin, living among these regal creatures was tough. He stuck out like a bruised knuckle.
That’s why Fred came north. Over the Andes and across the Caribbean, he visited Arizona, Texas and North Carolina. He wanted to make new and different friends. Now we’re lucky to announce this adventurous penguin is the latest addition to our team.
You’ll be hearing a lot from FastMed Fred in the future. He is going to help us teach kids about common health issues. He’ll cover topics like hydration, sunscreen and hygiene — all things FastMed Fred had to learn when he made his trek to the United States.
Each day, FastMed Fred discovers something new. We look forward to sharing his healthy choices and the lessons he learns with your children.
Join us in welcoming FastMed Fred to the team!
Flu season is blowing in, and each year the virus seems to grow more varied and severe. The only way to avoid this perfect storm of sickness is to get vaccinated. Picture yourself laid up sick for a week, missing work, can’t take care of the kids...and then picture avoiding all that trouble with one visit to your local FastMed Urgent Care! One shot could keep you healthy all year round.
Flu shots save lives and money
In studies of the vaccination’s effectiveness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that a flu shot lowered the risk of children being admitted into the emergency room by 74%. Similarly, adults saw a 71% decrease in hospitalizations.
Decreasing your chances of a hospital visit by a third is not only significant to your health, it has an impact on your wallet. If a child has to go to the emergency room it may cost you as much as $3,000. Compare that to less than $50 for a flu shot or urgent care visit with some insurance providers, and you’re seeing a heck of a difference.
Flu prevention tips and tricks
A flu shot is not the only way you can protect yourself from getting the flu. You can try to avoid contact with sick individuals, wash your hands, stay hydrated and exercise. The goal is to keep your body as healthy as possible so if you come in contact with the virus, your body can fight it off. Getting a lot of rest is another key to flu prevention. A well-rested body is a strong, healthy body. When you get plenty of sleep your immune system may be stronger.
If you do start to feel ill, it’s important to stay home. One of the worst things you can do during flu season is take your flu to the grocery store or send the flu to school with your child. When it comes to flu prevention, we all have to look out for one another. Sure, we encourage our children to share on the playground—but we’re talking about toys, not germs.
Get your flu shot today
If you have not gotten a flu shot already, visit your local FastMed. We can get you in quickly, so you can get on with your day. You can even check in online to save some time. This flu season, the fastest way out of harm's way is with a visit to FastMed Urgent Care.
So you’re chaperoning the high school dance, getting your boogey on and you go a little too far, stretch a little too much and hurt yourself. Maybe pull a hammy. Who are you going to call? The E.R. will be a four-hour wait—not to mention the cost!
FastMed Urgent Care is the answer.
Your local FastMed can get you back in the groove before the DJ calls for the final dance. Staffed with friendly, licensed healthcare professionals, FastMed is your go-to healthcare solution,, be it flu season or funky chicken. Plus, if you want to save extra time, you can check-in online.
If the beat gets the best of you, don’t hesitate. Visit FastMed Urgent Care and get back out there.
Oh, the weather outside is frightful … and so are your chapped lips! The winter wind is taking its toll, and it seems like every exposed part of your body is cracked, chapped, red or raw. You’ve heard that coconut oil is a wonder; your next-door neighbor swears by something originally developed for cow udders; and your mom keeps telling you to “just wear your gloves, already.” Who’s right?
Well, it probably depends on the condition. Read on for a bit of wisdom about the different skin conditions caused or exacerbated by that winter wonderland outside, find out when to seek treatment and what you can do to help your condition. After all, changing your habits is a lot better than chapped skin!
Winter dry skin
Let’s start with plain old dry skin. In this case, winter itself isn’t as problematic as its solution: indoor heat. Air pumped through the heating system in your home, office and car becomes very dry, wicking moisture away from your skin. Dry skin shrinks — thus that tight, itchy feeling.
The solution? Lotions and oils are usually helpful for dry skin (although we recommend ones with as little scent as possible, to avoid extra ingredients that can irritate your skin). However, in this case, lowering your thermostat just a little can go a long way. When you get in the car, don’t blast the heat right away; set it lower and let it heat the car slowly. When you get home and want to get that nip out of the air, bump up the temperature by just a few degrees. In other words, avoid blowing gusts of hot, dry air directly onto your skin as much as possible.
Eczema and Psoriasis
Eczema and psoriasis are both chronic autoimmune responses that affect the skin. Eczema causes red, itchy, scaly skin; psoriasis creates an overproduction of skin cells, producing white, red or silvery calloused patches called “plaques.” Like ordinary dry skin, they can both be irritated by dry air, but clothing can also be a problem; many winter fabrics contain wool, which can aggravate these two conditions. Try to avoid this fabric if possible. Do, however, wear gloves in the cold. Psoriasis, in particular, often shows up on the hands.
Your doctor may give you cortisone cream to treat eczema or psoriasis. Avoid scented lotions or bath products, and don’t bathe too frequently — the oils on your skin are what keep it soft and supple, and you don’t want to wash them all away. (We advocate cleanliness, of course, but many people don’t require a shower every single day). When you get out of the bath, pat dry and then apply moisturizer or lotion before your skin dries completely.
If you begin to wonder whether you should audition for the Rudolph role in your kid’s Christmas play, you may be dealing with something more than simple winter redness. Rosacea is another chronic skin condition. It causes redness in the face as small blood vessels swell; sometimes small bumps can appear. Rosacea is best treated by a doctor, who may prescribe antibiotics or retinoid creams. If you have rosacea, it’s particularly important that you protect your face from the cold — a difficult feat, given that you need to see where you’re going! Try wrapping a soft scarf around your face to guard against the chill.
Ever looked in the mirror and discovered that the snowfall outside isn’t the only one around? Dandruff, a condition in which skin produces skin cells too rapidly and then flakes excessively, can be an embarrassing problem. It may be caused by seborrheic dermatitis, a condition similar to eczema and psoriasis that’s exacerbated by cold, dry weather. Protect your head when you’re out in the cold. You can also try medicated shampoos, which are thought to work by combatting the fungus that may be an underlying cause of seborrheic dermatitis. (Don’t worry — you’re not a dirty person! This fungus exists commonly on the heads of most people, but only seems to trigger dandruff in some of them).
If there’s no place to go, FastMed is open!
FastMed’s evening and weekend hours make us a perfect pit stop if you find yourself scratching at that skin during your romantic dinner by the firelight! Find a location near you to get a sense of which kind of irritation may be plaguing you. We can’t make the season go any faster, but we can treat you with the speed and courtesy that you deserve, and, just maybe, whisk away those winter skin woes.
Our growing network of neighborhood urgent cares is currently hiring for a variety of positions. If you want to join a friendly team of associates and healthcare professionals who go to work daily to impact the lives of people in their community, reach out and submit your resume.
What types of positions are available at FastMed?
We’re always looking to hire intelligent, compassionate people who want to work in healthcare. Be it a medical assistant or healthcare provider, everyone who works at FastMed approaches their work with the same mission: we want to improve the lives of our patients and their families.
If you are interested in a specific position, FastMed keeps a running tally of open jobs on the website. Current needs include X-ray technologists, part and full-time physician assistants and nurse practitioners, billing staff, medical assistants and physicians.
What’s it like to work at FastMed?
At FastMed, we are proud of the safe, clean, friendly environments we create for customers and believe those same bright spaces improve the morale of our employees. While this work is serious and we are trying to improve people’s health, we do have some fun and we strive for a family atmosphere.
How can I apply?
Review the list of available jobs and click the one for which you’d like to apply. This will take you to an additional screen listing the job description and position qualifications. You can also find an email address where you can send your resume and a phone number to call with questions.
Step into your local FastMed and say, “Hi.”
One of the best ways to find out if you are interested in joining our team is to stop by for a visit, meet an employee or two or try our services. We want employees who believe in the quality of care we strive to offer. Make an appointment at FastMed and go through the entire experience. Is it a place you would like to work? Is it a culture where you see yourself fitting in? Are there ways you can improve the experience or make an impact? If so, apply today! We’re looking for our next star employee, and you may be just the person we need.
You send your kids off to school to learn and prosper. They’re all decked out in new shoes and cute little backpacks. Your son even has his first crush, and you watch him pick dandelions on the way toschool. It’s a picture of Americana, Rockwell-ian, it’s all a… sneeze?
Yes. Schools are where societies build better tomorrows and where tomorrow’s colds and coughs multiply, get sent home and spread through the family.
What are the “germiest” places in a school?
NSF International, once the National Sanitation Foundation, tested for germs around a schoolhouse, and the results were interesting. You’ll see common areas like the water fountain are the least sanitary, and the toilet seat is by some measures cleaner than a keyboard.
Total bacteria per square inch (CFU/in sq)
Water fountain spigot in classroom
Reusable cafeteria tray
Keyboard in classroom
*Data from NSF International
On the chart, you can also see that a child’s hand is a major carrier of sickness. This is why it is so important to stress handwashing for school children. Washing hands correctly can protect your child from getting sick or prevent your child from spreading an illness to another child. When flu season kicks up this winter, handwashing is even more important. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists handwashing as one of the main ways to reduce the spread of the flu.
What can my child do to stay safe at school?
In addition to handwashing, the CDC recommends keeping your child home when he or she is sick to prevent the spread of illness; teaching your child to avoid close contact- like hugging- when sick; and teaching children to cover up when they sneeze or cough. These simple precautions may lower the risk of contamination.
You may also want to think about providing disinfectant wipes for the classroom. While many schools have vital supplies, donating essentials to your children’s classroom is one way to make sure the teacher has all the resources necessary to fight illnesses when they arise.
Get your flu shot
While it’s important to teach your child to focus on hygiene and avoid “germy” situations, you can also help him fight illness by getting him a flu shot this season. Your local FastMed is always available to help with seasonal vaccinations.
This winter, teach your children to protect themselves and others from germs. And if someone in your family does catch a cold at school, come see us. We’ll get you back on your feet.
So you’re a new parent and your baby feels warm. The baby has been fussy all day. Now you’re wondering what to do. You don’t want to be the parent who calls the doctor at every squeak or squeal, but you definitely don’t want to wait too long to seek help and endanger your child’s health.
First, take a deep breath. It’s okay. Every parent goes through similar waves of panic and worry. These pangs of fear are what make the good moments so great. It all comes with the job.
Second, we can help. FastMed wants to give you a simple way to understand when your baby needs to see a healthcare provider so you can pretend that poop face was a smile.
What is a fever?
A fever is anything over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s the magic number you need to know. Normal kids will stay between 97 degrees and 100.3. If your baby goes above 100.4, call your doctor.
How do you take your baby’s temperature?
Rectally. You need to take your baby’s temperature with a rectal thermometer. You can try to take the temperature in their mouth or under an arm but you know how your baby squirms. Heck, you can hardly get a diaper on. So get a good temperature where you can.
What if the temperature is under 100.4 degrees?
Keep an eye on your baby and trust your intuition. Part of being a parent is making judgment calls. You can tell when your baby is a bundle of joy and when he or she is more agitated or, equally concerning, much more subdued than usual.
For the frist few weeks of life, a baby can’t regulate his own temperature and largely relies on you to help regulate his internal temperature. Yes, the tiny faux fur coat you got for her as a shower gift is cute. Yes, you need to get a picture of him wearing a full baseball uniform before he outgrows it. But your baby may need to cool off. (Not cold off, either! Babies are complicated little humans. They’ll holler if you let them get cold).
Who should you call?
If your baby is running a fever, you want to speak your pediatrician is not available,FastMed is open evenings and weekends and some of our locations are also open on holidays. You should look up your local FastMed and see what the hours of operation are, then put a note with the phone number on the fridge in case you need it.
You’re going to be okay as parent
If you are googling symptoms, you’re a concerned parent like all the rest.. One day you will sleep again. Your baby will smile and giggle and all these late nights taking temperatures will fade into the collective awesomeness of being a parent. In the meantime, as you need help, reach out to FastMed with questions or concerns. We can get you in and out quickly, so you can get back to the stuff that matters — Like that almost-wave, that grin or potty and all the wonderful others.
Preparing for the coming holiday season means committing to a budget. After all, you have large family dinners to prepare and presents to buy, you need some new decorations and you want to replace the sheets after Cousin Carl and his dogs leave come January. All this costs money, and as we all know, nothing is cheap these days.
For these reasons and more, FastMed wants to help you save some money this holiday season. We want to offer you premier medical care at a fraction of the cost of some ER or specialty visits. See, a visit to the ER — once your only option for after-hours care — can cost up to $500 dollars on average, sometimes much more. A visit to FastMed costs around $120 on average. The difference there is a few turkeys, the toy your son wants and new linens.
On top of this, FastMed offers a Discount Program. This program costs $35 to enroll and average visits cost $120. That sure beats that 20% Off Black Friday Sales that cause stampedes every year.
As of July 2015, the average family paid healthcare premiums over $16,800 per year. On top of this, some insurance companies are prepared to ask for rate increases of as much as 40%. Healthcare costs are continuing to rise and the availability of a quick, inexpensive option like your local FastMed may be just what you need to save a little extra this winter.
With holiday joy comes holiday accidents
In addition to thinking ahead about the cost of care, it’s important to know that the holidays often bring an uptick in injuries. Fires, falls, trips, breaks and cuts go up during the holidays. Imagine walking around your house in the summer: the windows are open, the kids are outside. Now think about the winter: everyone is crowded inside, the floors are wet with snow and there are extension cords and decorations everywhere. You can see how injuries happen.
We want you to be safe this holiday season, and should anything happen, we want you to choose a healthcare provider who won’t charge you a fortune plus your favorite reindeer just for stitches and a splint.
Avoid unnecessary visits to save extra
To save additional dollars this holiday season, don’t be reactionary. Don’t just visit a healthcare professional when something goes wrong. Get proactive! Stop by your local FastMed for a flu shot or vaccination before a sickness takes hold and you’ll save in the long run. One shot today is cheaper than over-the-counter medications, prescriptions and cans of chicken noodle soup down the road.
If you have not already had a flu shot, make an appointment online and get one this week — before you start missing holiday events because you’re ill. One quick prick is certainly better than a week missed sick!
FastMed is dedicated to helping families save
We are a community organization. With branches across Arizona and North Carolina, our local, friendly staff are just like you, working in the communities where they live. That’s why we are so committed to helping everyone within our branch network get premium, personal medical attention. If you’re on a budget this holiday season — and let’s be honest, who isn’t on a budget these days? — FastMed is here for you, helping you save.
FastMed has been working on a new technology for a long time. We’re trying to discover a way to mend a broken heart. We’d love to be able to stitch it right up and send you back on your way, so you can find the next love of your life. Only so far, we’re having trouble getting the procedure perfected, so in the meantime we’re just sewing cuts and scrapes, life’s regular booboos. Stitches are no fun, but when done well they can be an easy fix to a messy problem.
When do I need stitches?
We hear this question a lot: How do I know if I need stitches? Well, we’re going to encourage you to use your thinker in instances where you may or may not need stitches. In most cases, common sense will lead you to the right conclusion. If you are still unsure or worried, you should probably see a doctor. You can also keep some of the following rules in mind:
- On your neck, get it checked. Anytime you have a cut on your neck and it’s bleeding you should talk with a healthcare professional.
- If blood pours, call for sure. Any cut that squirts blood or has blood running from it needs medical attention.
- See a flap, stitch it back. If ever you get cut and there is a loose piece or flap of skin, it needs to be properly reattached.
- Got debris, the doc should see. When a cut is caused by debris or an object is stuck in the cut, a professional should see it.
- If the cut's long, a visit ain’t wrong. Anytime a cut is longer than 1/3 of an inch or deeper than ¼ of an inch, see a healthcare professional.
In addition to the rules above, remember that if you are in doubt, hop on your mount. Confused? Get it fused…. Well, you get the picture.
Do stitches hurt and will I have a scar?
People always want to know if stitches hurt. Most of the people who are really concerned about the pain of stitches have seen one too many action movies where the hero finds a stray needle and ties his own wounds together without anesthesia. If you get stiches at FastMed you will not have to bite on a stick to muscle through the pain. We are not a movie set in the middle of the jungle. We are a friendly, locally-staffed healthcare center and we can stitch you up comfortably and in a way that leaves less scarring.
Keep in mind, a percentage of severe scarring is related to not getting stitches when stitches are needed. Any cut can leave a scar, but you can reduce scarring if you do what you can to help a wound heal properly. FastMed will also help you prevent scarring by talking through caring for a wound once you’re home, including how to keep the wound lubricated and properly bandaged.
How and when do stitches come out?
In the olden days, even a few years ago, stitches always had to come out. You had one office visit to stitch the wound and a second to have the stitches removed. Today, the materials we use to stitch simple cuts and lacerations have changed, so you may not even need a second visit. Stitches these days may dissolve, depending on the type of cut and how your healthcare professional treats the wound.
It’s hard to predict how long you will have to keep the stitches in. Some cuts heal enough to bind on their own after only a couple of days while more serious injuries may take weeks to heal. Your healthcare professional will determine how long you need to have your stitches in on a case-by-case basis.
When it comes to stitches, trust FastMed
At FastMed, we have addressed a number of cuts. We’ve seen them all. Being open on the weekend and in select locations the holidays, gives us the chance to treat the oddest of seasonal cases as well. We’re the place people go when the carving knife dashes through the dark meat and lands in a thumb. We’re open on the weekends when your kid’s skateboard failed to grow wings and fly over that bike rack. We’re your scar-preventing destination when all you catch on an early morning fishing venture is your own ear. For all your mishaps and mistakes, we’re here, helping you get back out there.
FastMed is faster and less expensive — some would even say better — than the emergency room if (or when) things go awry this fall. If we work out our broken heart stitch procedure, if we find a way to cure the ailments of love gone wrong, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, trust us for your average cut or scrape.
So you got the flu. Either you forgot to visit FastMed for your flu shot or despite all your preventative efforts you still got sick. It happens. Sometimes you do everything in your power to protect your home from the flu and one kid decides to go to school sick and an entire classroom gets infected, bringing it home to you. If this happened, we’re here to help.
However you got sick, now it’s time to get well. It’s time to find the right treatment and make healthy choices that will get you back on your feet quickly. Most of us can’t afford to miss a lot of work these days, so why not choose an inexpensive treatment option that can get you back in the office in no time at all?
Get enough sleep
You know how sometimes when you get sick all you want to do is crawl in bed and sleep? That’s your body making a great suggestion. Listen to it. If you feel achy and ill and want nothing more than to curl up under the covers, dive into bed and get some rest.
If you have the flu, you should sleep at least nine hours a night. If you can get more sleep, that’s great. Take some naps throughout the day if you need to. Sleep helps your body recover and may boost your immune system.
Make sure to stay hydrated
When you’re awake, we want you consuming fluids. Hydration is key to kicking an illness. And we don’t mean drinking water until your belly maxes out. Hydration can be enjoyable and soothing if you’re sick.
- Use a humidifier: Keeping the air moist and moving may improve your symptoms and help clear your sinuses.
- Eat an icy pop: If your throat is sore and swollen a cold treat may relieve some of the pain — and it’s tasty, too.
- Have a hot drink: Have some hot tea or even warm water with lemon. Much like a cold treat, this may feel soothing and it may clear some symptoms.
- Don’t forget soup: Your mother’s favorite remedy really works. Chicken noodle soup has proven its healing properties.
- Fruit and sport drinks: Tasty drinks are a good substitute for water and a great source of electrolytes. Just be sure to choose a healthy alternative, rather than a really sugary drink.
If you are caring for a child with the flu, hydration is very important. You may need to encourage them to drink, as it can be uncomfortable with a sore throat. Also, keep kids home from school until you are absolutely sure they are feeling better. You don’t want your child who is already tired and weakened from illness to catch something else, and you don’t want to spread the flu at your child’s school.
Take the right medications
There are over-the-counter treatment options for the flu. You can take ibuprofen, antihistamines, decongestants and cough medicines to relieve your symptoms. You want to be sure to read the labels on any medicine you take. If you are treating a child, you want to be especially sure that you pay attention to what medicines you are giving them and the dosages they are taking.
There are also prescription medicines you can take for the flu. Your local FastMed is ready to help you get the medicine you need anytime. Often, sickness strikes on the weekend or after normal business hours, and we’re open and available. We are also here on holidays. You should call your doctor at the onset of flu symptoms for the best chance of getting the treatment you need in a timely manner.
FastMed is your flu headquarters
If you haven’t yet, get your flu shot at your earliest convenience and try to avoid ever getting sick. However, if you fall ill, your local FastMed is your flu headquarters. Our friendly staff is ready and able to help you understand how best to prevent illness, how to treat illness and how to prevent the spread of the flu once you are sick.
As autumn settles in and holidays approach, the flu begins to take hold. When you feel down or if the kids bring something home, count on FastMed to get you back out there. We’re faster and less expensive than most emergency rooms should you need an after-hours or weekend visit.