As flu and respiratory season approaches, we’re answering the top 5 Frequently Asked Questions we get most!

  1. What are the symptoms of the flu?

The flu commonly presents with symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, fatigue, and headache. Some individuals may also experience nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional. ExperCARE is open 7 days a week with extended hours and can help determine the best course of action for you. You never need an appointment, but can book ahead for your convenience.

  1. How long does the flu last?

The duration of flu symptoms can vary from person to person. In general, the flu can last anywhere from a few days to two weeks. It is crucial to rest, stay hydrated, and follow your doctor’s recommendations for a speedy recovery.

  1. How is the flu spread?

The flu is primarily spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. It can also be contracted by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes. Practicing good hand hygiene, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, and avoiding close contact with sick individuals can help prevent the spread of the flu.

  1. Who is at risk of complications from the flu?

Certain individuals are at higher risk of developing complications from the flu, including young children, the elderly, pregnant women, individuals with weakened immune systems, and those with underlying health conditions. It is important for individuals in these groups to take extra precautions, such as getting an annual flu vaccine, to help protect against the virus.

  1. How can I prevent the flu?

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting an annual flu vaccine. Additionally, practicing good hygiene habits, such as frequent handwashing, avoiding close contact with sick individuals, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, and disinfecting commonly-touched surfaces, can help reduce the risk of contracting and spreading the flu.

Note: It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and information about the flu. ExperCARE is here for you. Walk-in 7 days a week or schedule an appointment today and meet with one of our ExperCARE providers.

For more information about the flu, visit the CDC website.

BEST URGENT/IMMEDIATE-CARE MEDICAL CLINIC

Catherine Grant, MSPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA
Founder and CEO of ExperCARE Health

For Catherine Grant and her team at ExperCARE Health, constant change is the key to their success. When Grant set out to start a health clinic in 2009, her primary goal was to create a better model and experience for both healthcare professionals and patients when it comes to urgent care.

Fourteen years later, with five current locations in the region, it’s safe to say she met the mark — and then some.

“We wanted to create a more seamless transaction for people so that it fits into their lifestyle,” says Grant. “People don’t want to have to make an appointment weeks ahead of time. They want to be able to walk in when they have a need and get it taken care of and use their insurance and feel like they’re not compromising quality because of convenience.”

To receive care at any ExperCARE Health facility, patients can either schedule a same-day appointment from their phone or computer, or simply walk into any of the five locations to receive care. From providing basic routine care to more extensive testing, such as X-rays and electrocardiograms (EKGs), ExperCARE Health is a one-stop shop for those looking for quick, reliable health care that fits into any busy lifestyle.

When visiting an ExperCARE Health location, expect to be talking to a physician within 15 minutes of arriving. And over 90% of any diagnostic testing needed can be done onsite. Patients can even follow up with an ExperCARE Health physician like they would any other provider. “We’ll stick with them and be their primary contact until they have someone else,” says Grant. “At the end of the day, we want people to know that we’re here for them, no matter what.”

Grant’s next goal? ExperCARE Health is set to open two more locations in Georgia, one in Hinesville and another in Rincon, by year’s end.

As Flu season approaches, remember ExperCARE is here for you! ExperCARE is sharing 5 ExperTIPS to help you stay healthy this Flu season. We provide compassionate care for all ages. Walk-in to one of our convenient Georgia locations today, or schedule an appointment at your convenience here.

Influenza (Flu) season is during the fall and winter, with peak levels from December through February. Here are five ExperTIPS to help limit your risk of catching the Flu:

  1. Know flu symptoms. It is important to know Flu symptoms so you can distance yourself from individuals who are exhibiting them. Common symptoms include fever or chills, coughing, sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue. See the complete list of symptoms on the CDC
  2. Know how the flu spreads. The flu spreads person-to-person by droplets made when people who have the flu cough, sneeze, and talk. These droplets are inhaled or land in the nose and mouth of people who are in close proximity to the sick individual.
  3. Limit touching your face. You can also catch the flu by touching an object that has the flu on it and then touching your nose, mouth, and eyes. Make sure to regularly clean all surfaces in your home and at work, especially when you know someone is sick.
  4. Wash your hands frequently. To avoid inhaling and ingesting the flu, wash your hands frequently. Make sure you also wash your hands before eating.
  5. Get a flu vaccine. Getting a flu shot can help reduce your risk of catching the flu. According to the CDC, the flu vaccine can limit your chances of getting the flu between 40%-60%. If you do happen to still get sick, having the vaccine can reduce the severity of your symptoms. Having the vaccine can also reduce the risk for people around you such as infants, elderly, and people with chronic health conditions.

For more information about the flu, visit the CDC website.

At ExperCARE, get a flu test and allow us to help treat your flu symptoms. Walk-in or schedule an appointment today.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. This is a time to raise awareness about the stigmatized topic. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, call or text 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Help is available 24/7.

Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, race, background or socioeconomic status. If you or a loved one is having suicidal thoughts, ExperCARE wants to connect you to free mental health crisis resources that are available. In addition to the Crisis Lifeline, you can text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free trained crisis counselor. Visit the National Alliance of Mental Illness for more information on navigating a mental health crisis.

Some actions that can help provide hope and relief to individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts is to listen without judgement, ask how you can provide support, and stay connected. Visit the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline to learn more.

It is important to know the warning signs and risk factors of suicide. Suicide is rarely caused by an individual event. Risk factors can be a culmination of individual, relationship, community and societal factors. Visit the CDC for a complete list of risk factors.

The purple and turquoise ribbon represents suicide prevention, and the yellow ribbon represents suicide awareness. Help spread awareness this month by sharing these resources.

ExperCARE is here for you. We are open 7 days a week with extended hours. In network with most major insurance companies, we’re you’re go-to for on-demand healthcare. Visit one of our five convenient Georgia locations today. Walk-in, or schedule an appointment at your convenience here.

September is recognized as National Yoga Awareness Month, dedicated to helping raise awareness about the practice of yoga and the health benefits. This month, ExperBEAR will be practicing yoga for its health benefits! Learn why you should join him on the yoga journey by reading 4 ExperFACTS about yoga that you may not already know:

    1. Yoga has physical health benefits. Physical benefits of yoga include: protection from injury, increased flexibility, increased muscle strength and tone, and improved athletic performance. Visit the American Osteopathic Association to learn more about the physical health benefits of yoga.
    2. Yoga can also help with your mental health. Yoga can help maintain stress levels. With the breathing and meditation incorporated in yoga, a person’s mental well-being can be drastically improved.
    3. Yoga can help you sleep better. According to research from Johns Hopkins Medicine, having a nightly yoga routine can help you have a better quality of sleep and stay asleep the whole night.
    4. Yoga connects you with a supportive community. Participating in a group yoga class can ease feelings of loneliness and provide a supportive environment.

The great thing about yoga is that all levels are welcome! It is easy to find a beginner class online in your community.

Experience the ExperCARE difference! With extended hours and convenient locations, ExperCARE is your go-to choice for on-demand healthcare needs. Walk-ins are always welcome, or you can book ahead at your convenience.

With the school year in full swing, we had our team submit some of their favorite quick and delicious after school snacks to have on-hand. Check out 3 of our favorites below! We hope you enjoy these submissions from our team.  

For a sweet tooth: No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars 

Ingredients:  

  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter  
  • 2 sticks butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan 
  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter 
  • 2 cups powdered sugar 
  • 1 box (12 ounces) vanilla wafers 
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) semi-sweet mini chocolate chips  
  • ½ cup chopped peanuts  

Directions: 

  1. For the topping: Using a microwave, melt the chocolate chips and creamy peanut butter. Allow it to cool for a couple of minutes while you make the bars.  
  1. For the bars: grease a 9-by-13-inch pan with some butter. Using a stand or electric hand mixer, mix together the butter and chunky peanut butter until smooth. Stir in the powdered sugar one cup at a time. 
  1. Add the vanilla wafers to a food processor and process until they are crumbs. Then add the crumbs and mini chocolate chips to the peanut butter mixture and mix until just combined. Spread it evenly into the buttered pan and set aside.  
  1. Pour the topping over the base. Spread it out evenly and sprinkle over the chopped peanuts. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, then cut into 20 bars.  
  1. Keep refrigerated, as the bars and chocolate will soften at room temperature.  

Salty Snack: Garlic-Ranch Party Mix 

Ingredients 

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter 
  • 4 1/2 cups Rice Chex cereal 
  • 4 1/2 cups Wheat Chex cereal 
  • 2 cups bite-sized or mini pretzel twists 
  • 2 cups cheese crackers, such as Cheez-Its 
  • 1 cup oyster crackers 
  • 2 (1-ounce) packets ranch dressing seasoning mix (about 1/2 cup total), divided 

Directions 

  1. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 250°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  1. Place 8 tablespoons unsalted butter in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 10-second intervals, stirring between each, until fully melted, 50 to 60 seconds total. (Alternatively, melt in a small saucepan on the stovetop over low heat.) 
  1. Place 4 1/2 cups Rice Chex, 4 1/2 cups Wheat Chex, 2 cups pretzel twists, 2 cups cheese crackers, 1 cup oyster crackers, and 1 packet of the ranch dressing seasoning mix in a large bowl, and lightly toss to combine. 
  1. Pour half of the butter over the cereal mixture and gently toss to coat. Sprinkle in the remaining ranch packet and butter, then gently toss again so all the pieces are evenly coated. 
  1. Divide the mixture between the prepared baking sheets and spread into an even layer. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until lightly browned and crisp, 45 to 50 minutes total. Let cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheets before serving. 

Source {Garlic-Ranch Party Mix} 

Simple + Healthy Beverage: Strawberry Banana Smoothie 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup Strawberries- fresh or frozen 
  • 1 Banana- fresh or frozen; it is easiest to pre-chop and freeze bananas that are brown 
  • ½ cup Milk- can sub dairy-free milk, apple juice or orange juice  
  • For the best possible smoothie, make sure at least one of your fruits is frozen!  

Directions: 

  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth, adding a touch more milk as needed to reach a texture to your liking.  

Source {Strawberry Banana Smoothie} 

ExperCARE is always here for you! Walk in at your convenience or book ahead at any of our convenient Georgia urgent care locations. Open Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Saturday & Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

How to Prevent Back to School Germs

As the back to school season approaches, it’s important to take steps to prevent the spread of germs in the classroom and at home. With so many children coming together in one space, the risk of illness spreading is high. However, by practicing good hygiene habits and taking preventative measures, you can help keep yourself and your family healthy.

1. Wash Your Hands

One of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs is by washing your hands frequently. Encourage your child to wash their hands throughout the day, especially before eating and after using the restroom. Use warm water and soap, and lather for at least 20 seconds before rinsing.

2. Use Hand Sanitizer

In addition to washing your hands, hand sanitizer can be an effective way to kill germs. Keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your child’s backpack for use when hand washing is not possible.

3. Teach Good Cough and Sneezing Etiquette

Coughing and sneezing are common ways for germs to spread. Teach your child to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. If a tissue is not available, encourage them to cough or sneeze into the crook of their elbow instead of their hands.

4. Keep Hands Away from Face

It’s easy for germs to enter the body through the eyes, nose or mouth. Encourage your child to keep their hands away from their face unless they have just washed their hands.

5. Disinfect Surfaces

Germs can live on surfaces for several hours, so it’s important to disinfect items as they go to and from school. Use an all-purpose cleaner or disinfectant wipes to keep these surfaces like backpacks and lunchboxes clean.

6. Stay Home When Sick

If your child is feeling sick, it’s important to keep them home from school to prevent the spread of germs. Make sure your child knows the importance of staying home when they are not feeling well and encourage rest and proper hydration.

ExperCARE is here to serve you when someone does bring home an icky, back-to-school germ! We are open 7 days a week, extended hours, accept insurance, and you never need an appointment. Visit one of our convenient locations today.

Five ExperCARE Health Tips for Getting Ready for Back to School

As we approach the back-to-school season, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure that both you and your child are ready for the new school year. Aside from purchasing school supplies and uniforms, it’s important to focus on your health in preparation for the busy months ahead. We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 health tips for getting ready for back-to-school season.

1. Get up-to-date on Vaccinations and Sports Physicals

It’s important to make sure that your child’s vaccinations are up-to-date before beginning the new school year. Many schools require certain vaccinations, and some vaccines may take several weeks to take effect, so it is best to schedule any necessary appointments with your healthcare provider well in advance.

Need a Sports Physical? ExperCARE is offering $25 Sports Physicals at all ExperCARE locations. Book ahead or walk in any time. We are here to help you get ready for Fall sports!

2. Establish a Sleep Schedule

As the summer months come to a close and the school year begins, it is important to establish a sleep schedule for your child. This will ensure that they are well-rested and alert during school hours. Below is the most recent recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  • Ages 3-5 years: 10-13 hours (including naps)
  • Age 6-12 years: 9-12 hours
  • Age 13-18 years: 8-10 hours

3. Prepare Healthy Meals

Preparing healthy meals for your child is an important aspect of ensuring their overall health and wellbeing. Make sure that their meals consist of a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. It’s also important to pack healthy school lunches and snacks to ensure that they are getting the nutrients they need throughout the day.

4. Encourage Physical Activity

Physical activity is essential for maintaining good health, and it can also improve academic performance. Encourage your child to engage in physical activities that they enjoy, such as swimming, biking, or dancing. Additionally, make sure that they have access to after-school activities that promote physical activity, such as sports teams or dance classes.

5. Prepare for Emergencies

It’s important to have a plan in place in case of emergencies, such as injuries or illnesses that occur during the school day. Make sure that you have updated emergency contact information on file with your child’s school, and that your child knows how to contact you in case of an emergency. Additionally, it’s important to have a well-stocked first aid kit at home in case of minor injuries or illnesses.

By following these top health tips, both you and your child will be well-prepared for the upcoming school year. Remember, making your health and wellbeing a top priority will set the foundation for a successful  school year.

We always love hearing from our team! Earlier this month, we interviewed some of our ExperCARE employees across all locations to ask them about the ExperCARE difference and why they love working here. Whether they were a provider, medical assistant, or worked at the front desk, there was a common consensus: the ExperCARE culture and team contribute to a positive work environment.  

All five of our ExperCARE locations are open seven days a week. Patients can visit us on weekdays from 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome, or you can schedule an appointment here. 

When asked what his favorite part of the ExperCARE team was, Alex (Clinical Trainer/Medical Assistant) responded, “I love the diversity of our team! We have CNA’s, EMTs, Paramedics who have served in the Army, and a variety of different backgrounds.” As a Clinical Trainer, Alex has the opportunity to see employees throughout all stages of their career. He sees them when they are just hired and also when they are promoted to new roles and have greater responsibilities. A favorite moment for Alex at ExperCARE has been, getting to watch my team members grow! “I have watched new team members come out of their shells and learn a variety of different new skills after joining our team,” commented Alex. 

Teamwork is integral to ExperCARE’s success. Caliyah (Medical Assistant) loves how well her team works together, “My team knows me well and anticipates what I need before I ask for it!”  

ExperCARE provides a 5-star patient experience that is evident from the moment you walk into the clinic. The first face you will be greeted by is at the Front Desk. One part about working for ExperCARE that Esther (Front Desk) likes is getting to interact with and be involved with the patients! “At previous jobs I felt hidden away in the background. I have really enjoyed the change,” said Esther.  

Krista (Rad Tech) summarizes the ExperCARE difference perfectly, “We are available for patients when they need it seven days a week. We have team members available to answer calls, avoiding the hassle of an automated system. Following a visit with ExperCARE, a team member will contact you to see how you are feeling and improving. The difference here is our team truly cares about our patients.” 

For Zoe (Front Desk), her favorite part of working for ExperCARE is the team members. “I love that my team members are helpful and understanding. Teamwork is very important since we work in such a fast-paced environment. Even though I am newer here, my co-workers have made working here so enjoyable,” Zoe states.

Similarly, Theresa (Medical Assistant) has loved working with her team members. She states, “I love that I get to work with different people every day! There is also a lot of variety of backgrounds in our clinic. Everyone gets along, and we are super close-knit group.” 

For Jessica (Physician Assistant), working at ExperCARE is different from her other work experiences because of the tight-knit team she works with each day. “I love the positive energy, teamwork, and how open our clinic is. Everyone is connected and we even get together outside of work,” said Jessica.

Elaina (Medical Assistant) talks about the ExperCARE culture. “Working at ExperCARE, the first thing that comes to mind is positivity. I enjoy my job because of the positive environment I am in every day,” says Elaina. 

Lainey (Front Desk) brings a special perspective working for ExperCARE because she was a patient before working here. “Being a patient was when I first had the chance to experience what makes ExperCARE special. The patient experience is different from anything else I have experienced. I love that we check in with patients following a visit. It makes a difference working for a clinic that genuinely cares about their patients,” she said.

Haley (Front Desk) loves working for ExperCARE and her Pooler team. “I choose to drive farther to work because I love the team that I work with in Pooler!” When asked what the ExperCARE difference is, Haley commented, “ExperCARE’s culture sets it apart. ExperCARE is different from anywhere I have ever worked at or been a patient at. Everyone is genuine, and I never feel judged when I have to ask a team member a question.” 

Tahpenes (Rad Tech) was drawn to ExperCARE by what she read on our website. “When looking at the website, I thought it could be a good fit and decided to take a chance. After joining the team, I’m so glad I took the opportunity! I get to work with other friendly and team-oriented individuals who make coming to work fun. The flexibility is also a bonus,” she adds. Tahpenes’ favorite part about working for ExperCARE is that [ExperCARE’s] facilities are extremely clean and organized. “That’s not something you find everywhere. Our team also communicates well with each other, and we keep a positive workspace,” said Tahpenes.

When asked what her favorite part about working at ExperCARE was, Enfinity (Front Desk) said, “I love going above and beyond for patients! My team always helps each other out and I love the positive environment I get to be in every day.”  

Think you fit in with the ExperCARE culture? Fill out our ExperCARE survey today by clicking here.

Looking for our open positions? Visit our website for more information on available positions here. 

Earlier this week, ExperCARE Founder and CEO, Catherine Grant sat down with WSAV to discuss how urgent cares can assist members of the community with their healthcare needs.

Article: Urgent care centers serve as alternative to emergency rooms

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — WSAV News 3 previously reported that emergency wait times have gone up in Chatham County.

We learned how urgent care centers can be used as a possible alternative to emergency rooms in some cases.

The CEO of a local urgent care company shared some reasons why these emergency rooms are filling up so much.

I learned that these long wait times can be decreased by people simply going to the urgent care or their primary care physician.

“People often feel like their only option is to seek care in an emergency room- even when its not an emergency,” said Grant.

Grant insists that people should still follow protocol, and head to the emergency room for any severe or extreme symptoms and trauma.

But she says that many people are calling 911 for the wrong reasons, and that is contributing to these long wait times.

“It often comes down to education of where is the best place to seek help.”

She says urgent care can be used to treat bone breaks-sprains-infections and for many more types of routine assessments.

Although many urgent cares don’t offer emergency transportation, they are capable of handling many of the issues that people call 911 for.

“As medical services continue to evolve- talking to everybody about where these services can be sought is a huge part in getting people to the right place and seeking the right access of care.”

While urgent cares have expanded their capabilities over the years – Grant acknowledges that trust has to be built for people to turn to them instead of emergency rooms

Grant also points out that in some instances urgent care can be much more affordable than heading to the emergency room.

“There are many urgent cares that are in network with insurance. There are situations where urgent cares can cost 10 to 15 times less than an emergency room setting.”

Although urgent care can be a viable alternative in some cases–Grant says you can always call and make sure they have the capabilities to handle your problem before heading over.

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