New Monday Evening Urgent Care Clinic
Beginning January 26, Sleepy Eye Medical Center's Urgent Care Clinic will be open for extended hours every Monday, 4:30-6:30 p.m. The urgent care extended hours clinic provides an alternative to the emergency room when individuals have a pressing medical need that does not require an emergency room visit.
Conditions commonly treated in urgent care include earaches, sore throats, sinus pain, cold or influenza symptoms, abrasions, minor cuts, sprains, strains, fractures, bladder infections, joint pain, bug bites, and childhood illnesses of pink eye, impetigo and rashes.
"Extending our urgent care hours helps our patients gain access to care, after the main clinic closes, for those urgent needs that maybe shouldn't wait until the next day. We strive to listen to and act on what our patients are telling us, and this is one of those suggestions," said Sandy Domeier, Director of Patient Services.
Routine visits such as wellness exams, physicals, obstetric care and vaccinations will continue to be scheduled during regular clinic hours, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1:30-5 p.m.
In the event of a serious illness or injury, please call 911.
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month
In recognition of National Cervical Health Awareness Month, Sleepy Eye Medical Center urges women to talk with their primary health care providers about getting screened for cervical cancer.
According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, each year over 12,000 American women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and more than 4,000 of those women die from the condition. It occurs most often in women over age 30, but all women are at risk.
Through early detection and treatment, cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers today. For this reason, it is important for women to start getting Papanicolaou (Pap) tests at age 21.
"In 2012, the American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology Consensus Guidelines changed and suggest that we screen for cervical cancer from age 21-65, approximately every three to five years. The specific tests, including Pap and HPV, are determined based on the woman's age and medical history. We will look at these factors and decide on the best plan for each woman's situation. For women with history of abnormal tests, we may choose to test more often or after age 65," said Sue Ahlness, Family Nurse Practitioner at SEMC.
In addition to the Pap test, the human papillomavirus (HPV) test can be used to screen for cervical cancer in women 30 years of age and older. It is also used to provide more information when women 21 and older have unclear Pap test results.
Prevention of cervical cancer begins early. HPV is the primary cause of cervical cancer. However, the HPV vaccine works to prevent it and other HPV-related diseases in women and men. The vaccine is a three-dose series that is best given before sexual activity begins. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all boys and girls ages 11 or 12 receive the vaccination, but it may be given as young as age 9. Females ages 13-26 and males ages 13-21 should get the HPV vaccine if they did not receive the complete three-dose series when they were younger.
"I highly recommend the HPV vaccination for both boys and girls. When we address prevention in both sexes, we will be able to reduce transmission of HPV-related disease much more quickly. The vaccine has proven to be safe and ultimately will reduce the incidence of illness and death from cervical disease and cancers," said Ahlness.
For more information about cervical cancer, please click here.
Sleepy Eye Medical Center Limits Visitors Due to Flu Outbreak
In an effort to curb the outbreak of influenza, SEMC has been restricting visitor access since December 15. The decision was made in response to an increase in cases of influenza and influenza-like illnesses.
Until the risk of transmission diminishes within the hospital, only immediate family or caregivers above the age of 18 with no flu-like symptoms can visit patients. In addition, only two visitors may see a patient at one time and patients with fevers, coughs or other potential flu symptoms will likely remain segregated from others.
"We are taking precautionary measures to prevent the spread of influenza and to protect our patients, staff, visitors and the community at large," said Kevin Sellheim, CEO and administrator of SEMC. "Restricting contamination is one of the best ways to halt the spread of influenza."
The restrictions will remain until influenza activity declines. Thank you for your cooperation.