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Rotation | Urgent Care

I closed out my last rotation shift in the local urgent care, and it was bittersweet. During my rotation, I had become friends with the staff there, from the medical assistants (MA) to the physicians (MD). To me, titles don't matter. What matters is being able to do the job, being aware of the limits of your knowledge, and being curious.

While I was rotating through, I asked the MA to show me how to run a strep test for a patient who came in for sore throat. I was taught how to do a strep test, but it has been a while since then. In every rotation, if there is something you don't know, don't be afraid to ask! Be curious and be willing to learn from everyone, no matter their job title!

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These are just my two-cents, but are things you may want to familiarize yourself with before starting rotation in an urgent care setting. Do keep in mind that some of the conditions I list may be more relevant given the area where I did my rotation. For example, the population in El Dorado Hills are more affluent, so children participate more/are active in sports (hence, more sports-type injuries). Also, some of these may be things that the MA is able to do. However, it is important that you know how to do them yourself, especially if you work with an MA who has never done something before.


  • Pharyngitis - Viral, Bacterial

  • Gastroenteritis

  • Constipation

  • Medication Refill

  • Post-URI Cough

  • Upper Respiratory Infection (URI)

  • Diarrhea

  • Otitis Media

  • Otitis Externa

  • Cerumen Impaction

  • Sinusitis

  • Asthma

  • Muscle Sprain/Strain

  • Contusion

  • Fracture

  • Rash - Poison Ivy

  • Herpes Simplex

  • Conjunctivitis - Bacterial, Viral

  • Pneumonia (outpatient)

  • Laceration

  • Shortness of breath/Dyspnea

  • Urinary Tract Infection

  • Odynophagia

  • Acute Pain

  • Fever

  • Croup

  • Coxsackievirus (Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease)

  • Influenza

  • Corneal Abrasion

  • Back pain


  • Strep Swab Test - How to do and interpretation of results

  • Mono Spot Test - How to do and interpretation of results

  • Flu Swab Test - How to do and interpretation of results

  • Urinalysis - How to do and interpretation of results

  • Urine Drug Screen - How to do and interpretation of results

  • Labs - How to order and fill out lab slip, how to interpret lab values, what labs to order

  • Point of Care Glucose Check - How to do and interpretation of results

  • Fluorescein Test - How to do and what you're looking for


  • 12-Lead EKG - Performing one and reading the results

  • X-ray - Interpreting the results


  • Wound care - How to and what types of gauze pads to use

  • Splint - Review splint types and how to ace wrap

  • Ortho Glass - I didn't have any casting to do during my rotation, but the ortho glass was there if a patient needed it, so it would be good to review!

  • Suturing - How to set up your sterile field and equipment needed, how to suture, know what type of thread you need, know the different methods and which would be best considering the depth of the injury

  • Suture Removal

  • Ear Irrigation

  • Prescription Writing

  • Intramuscular and Intradermal Injections

  • Sports and School Physical Exams - Considerations

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I'll keep adding to the list as I think of other conditions I have seen. I hope this list was able to help you get ready for your urgent care rotations! Good luck and let me know if you have any suggestions for things to add to help other students!
- Nicole G.

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