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During this time of year, I find myself getting injured more often- I’m carrying lots of bags, typically filled with things for the holidays, the weather is unpredictable, and with both of those things added together and others like me out on the roads, it can be a hazardous season. Inevitably, one of my family members or neighbors ends up having to get stitches after trying to put up lights around the outside of their house or apartment to decorate for the holidays. The biggest issue is debate over whether or not the person injured “needs” to get stitches.

A few things to think about: If you are in question about what warrants a trip to the Urgent/Immediate Care Clinic, definitely go if

  • It has been bleeding profusely after 20 minutes of direct pressure without stopping
  • The wound is gaping, deep, or jagged
  • It is located on the face, or somewhere where scarring is going to be an issue
  • The cut is located on a hand or area that isn’t properly functioning
  • The area feels numb

In general, if you are in doubt about needing stitches, have a doctor look at the wound and let them make that decision. Apply pressure and if possible keep the injured area elevated. The Doctor and the Medical Assistant will make sure that wound is properly cleaned, have x-rays ordered/taken if necessary, and then stitch the wound.

The Doctor and Medical Assistant will explain how to care for the wound at home while you are waiting to heal. As long as you don’t pop the stitches, spike a fever, or develop red streaks near the skin, you should be fine, but as always call them with any questions or concerns! It will take a few weeks to heal and when is does the Medical Assistant will likely to be the one to remove your stitches. Do not do it yourself, the Medical Assistant knows if you have healed completely and how to remove it without causing any injury.

If you have an interest in helping others and that been thinking about a career in the Medical field, you may want to consider becoming a Medical Assistant. MedQuest College offers an amazing Medical Assisting program that is completed in just 10 months, working with students from many different walks of life who need/want to make a meaningful and lasting career change. MedQuest College has classes that work with just about any schedule you have. Medical Assisting classes are 4 days a week, for 4 hours at a time. Click here for more information.