Pneumonia can lead to serious symptoms that may be life threatening. Many people become very ill when they have pneumonia, while others experience only mild symptoms. If you have been exposed to anyone who has pneumonia or other respiratory infection or if you experience symptoms such as coughing, fever, chills, muscle pain, nausea, or fatigue, visit a walk-in clinic. Once there, the physician will make a diagnosis, and based on his or her findings, will develop a treatment plan. Here are some ways the urgent care clinic staff can diagnose and treat pneumonia.
The doctor will examine you and listen to your lung sounds with a stethoscope. If the lung sounds are diminished, it may mean that you have fluid or congestion in your lungs. The physician will also listen for the presence of crackling sounds or rumbling, which may indicate a pulmonary abnormality.
The doctor, nurse, or technician will also take a chest x-ray to evaluate the condition of your lungs. If any shadows, opacities, or infiltrates are seen, a diagnosis of pneumonia may be suspected. You may also get a blood test known as a complete blood count, or CBC. If this blood test reveals an elevation in your white blood count, it won't tell the doctor that you have pneumonia, but it may indicate that a bacterial or viral infection is present.
If your examination and tests point to pneumonia, the doctor will need to determine if it is viral or bacterial in nature. If you have bacterial pneumonia, you will be given a prescription for antibiotics. Conversely, antibiotics will not be prescribed if you have viral pneumonia because they are only effective against bacterial infections.
You will also be told to drink plenty of fluids, rest, avoid overexerting yourself, and to seek medical attention if you develop a high fever, shortness of breath, chest pain, or severe weakness. In severe cases of pneumonia, hospitalization is required so that intravenous fluids and medications can be administered and so that your cardiovascular and lung function can be closely monitored.
If you develop any of the above symptoms, visit an urgent care clinic or see your doctor. When pneumonia is diagnosed and treated quickly, complications such as respiratory failure and cardiovascular problems are less likely to develop. Also, when pneumonia is treated before it has a chance to progress, you will regain your energy faster so that you can get back to your normal routine.