University Hospital & Medical Center
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Common Symptoms Associated with Behavioral Health Issues

Behavioral health issues are quite common and can affect children, adolescents, and adults. It isn’t always easy for family members to determine when a problem is being caused by a behavioral health issue, particularly when these problems are present in children and adolescents. If there are any concerns, a behavioral health specialist at University Hospital and Medical Center can conduct an evaluation. Be sure to tell the provider about all of the changes you’ve seen in your loved one.

Physical Health Concerns

Behavioral health disorders can affect all aspects of a person’s life, including his or her physical wellness. It’s not unusual for these individuals to display changes in appetite and weight gain or loss. Sleep patterns are often affected; a person might sleep a great deal more or less than usual. Some patients might have various physical health issues with no apparent cause, such as aches and pains, stomachaches, and headaches. Additionally, behavioral health issues often go hand-in-hand with alcohol or drug abuse.

Socio-Emotional Changes

Rapid mood changes can sometimes be a sign of behavioral health issues. Individuals might begin to avoid their usual social activities and their close friends, preferring to spend time by themselves. They might display excessive worrying and they might have trouble relating to others. These individuals might not be aware of their own changes in personality or feelings.

Cognitive Problems

Behavioral health issues can make thinking clearly difficult. Individuals with these problems might be unable to cope with stress or carry out daily tasks. They might have problems with concentration and memory. These individuals may mention that they feel oddly disconnected from their bodies or their surroundings. Some behavioral health issues are associated with unusual, unfounded suspicion of others, delusions, and hallucinations.

The Center for Behavioral Health at University Pavilion in Tamarac, FL, provides assessments around the clock. The freestanding Center for Behavioral Health, located on the campus of University Hospital and Medical Center, offers care for children, adolescents, adults, and seniors. For general information about our behavioral health services, you can call (954) 722-9933 to speak with a registered nurse.

Categorizing Cases in the ER

Emergency departments across the country, including the ER at University Hospital and Medical Center, treat a wide range of medical problems. In order to best meet the needs of patients, the ER team categorizes cases according to their severity. This allows patients with life-threatening and other serious problems to be treated rapidly, while those with minor medical complaints may need to wait a little while to be seen.


Patients that fall into this category are brought to the emergency department with a life-threatening medical problem. They require immediate medical intervention, possibly to restart respiration or to restart the heart through the use of defibrillation. This category also includes patients in a state of anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction, those with septic shock, and those with active seizures. Insulin shock, stroke, and heart attack are just a few other examples of life-threatening conditions. Patients in this category will always take priority over other patients in order to save lives.


The next tier consists of emergent patients. These are patients in severe distress; however, they are not expected to require immediate resuscitation. Some examples of these medical problems can include an overdose without the loss of consciousness, serious infection, hyperthermia, hypothermia, and severe, but not life-threatening allergic reactions. Congestive heart failure patients, those with multiple injuries, and those with acute chest pain are also emergent patients.


Urgent patients have moderate to severe medical problems that are not life-threatening, even though they may be painful. Patients with urgent medical issues include those with broken bones, burns, or other conditions that cause moderate pain.


Semi-urgent cases may involve minor pain, such as mild abdominal pain or earaches. Patients with upper respiratory symptoms also fall into this category.


Non-urgent patients generally come to the ER if it’s past business hours for their family doctor. These patients include those with minor cold and flu symptoms, minor abrasions, dental pain, and minor sprains and strains.

If you or someone else is in need of emergency care in Tamarac, FL, please call 911 without delay. Otherwise, you may direct non-emergent inquiries to the Consult-A-Nurse line at (954) 722-9933. University Hospital and Medical Center is committed to providing the highest level of patient care and safety throughout every department of our state-of-the-art medical cent

Avoid Summertime ER Trips with This Safety Advice

Summer is an idyllic time of year, especially if you’re planning fun excursions outdoors with friends. But summertime also brings a spike in ER visits. Spending just a few minutes thinking about potential hazards and how you can prevent them can help keep yourself and your family safe. At University Hospital and Medical Center, our ER team is always standing by, should you require emergency care.

Be Safe on the Water

Many Florida residents enjoy spending lazy summer days out on the water, but this brings unique health concerns. Boating while consuming alcoholic beverages can be dangerous; it’s best to leave the cooler on the shore. Use the buddy system while swimming or stay in lifeguard-protected areas. Children should be supervised at all times near water. Homeowners with swimming pools should install a safety fence with a locking gate. Even if you do not have young children, securing your pool can help keep wandering neighborhood kids safe.

Reduce the Risk of Heat-Related Illnesses

Heat-related illnesses become progressively more severe. To reduce your risk, plan outdoors activities during the morning and evening hours. When you do go out, wear cool, comfortable clothing and sip non-alcoholic beverages frequently. Water and beverages that replace electrolytes such as sports drinks are recommended. It’s also a good idea to learn to recognize the potential signs of heat-related illnesses. A doctor at the ER can treat you if you suffer from confusion, dizziness, faintness, fatigue, muscle cramps, and dark-colored urine.

Practice Smart Food Safety

Summer is the perfect time for family reunions and get-togethers with friends, but if you’re planning a picnic or similar event this year, you should be mindful of food safety. Foodborne illnesses can sometimes be severe enough to send you to the ER. Cook meats to the necessary temperature and avoid leaving food out in hot weather. Chill all perishable foods in a well-insulated cooler that contains plenty of ice. Remember to keep cooked and raw foods separate and to bring disinfectant wipes to clean hands and surfaces.

For responsive emergency care in the Tamarac, FL area, your family can rely on University Hospital and Medical Center. Our Emergency Department is committed to providing high-quality care for patients of all ages with our senior-friendly and kid-friendly features. Individuals who are experiencing a medical emergency are urged to call 911 immediately. Non-emergent calls may be directed to (954) 722-9933.

Should You Be Screened for Depression?

Depression is a serious behavioral health problem that affects people of all ages and backgrounds. Depression encompasses a range of challenges that can reduce quality of life and interfere with daily functioning. Yet, many individuals with depression resist reaching out for help. On October 6, 2016, behavioral health professionals around the nation are recognizing National Depression Screening Day to encourage individuals to explore the available support services in their communities. At University Hospital and Medical Center, our behavioral health specialists welcome inquiries from patients and their family members every day of the year.

The Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Every patient’s experience with depression is unique, but in general, depression causes long-lasting feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and hopelessness. Many patients suffer from persistent anxiety, mood swings, irritability, and either restlessness or fatigue. Depression often involves physical symptoms, such as unexplained aches and pains, changes in appetite, and changes in sleep patterns. Along with some of these issues, you might have experienced a loss of interest in social interaction and your usual activities.

The Importance of Seeking Treatment

Some people with depression feel as though nothing can be done about the situation. But you should know that help is available. By reaching out to a behavioral health specialist, you can start getting your life back on track. As your mental health improves and stabilizes, you may find yourself surprised at just how many problems depression caused in your life and how much brighter the future looks now.

The Evaluation Process

There is no single medical test available to confirm the diagnosis of depression. Instead, a behavioral health provider is likely to begin the evaluation process with a look at your medical history and your current symptoms. You will likely be asked to fill out a mental health questionnaire to assess the depressive symptoms you may have. The physician will consider the severity of your symptoms, their onset, and the possible triggering events. You might also be evaluated for co-existing conditions, which may include anxiety disorders, substance abuse, or personality disorders.

Here at University Hospital and Medical Center, we recognize each individual with behavioral health issues has unique needs, preferences, and concerns. The multidisciplinary team at the Center for Behavioral Health at University Pavilion is dedicated to meeting those needs and providing comprehensive support for youth, adult, and senior patients. Call a registered nurse at (954) 722-9933 if you have general questions about our Center for Behavioral Health in Tamarac, FL.

Tips for Childproofing Your Home to Prevent Emergencies

Childproofing an entire home is a major task. To make it more manageable, childproof your home one room at a time. When you think you’re done, ask a trusted family member to go through each room; a fresh pair of eyes can sometimes spot potential hazards you might have missed. Careful childproofing can help prevent trips to the ER at University Hospital and Medical Center.


Your childproofing efforts might start with selecting a safe crib. It might be tempting to borrow one from a family friend, but be aware that the safety regulations may have changed since a used crib was manufactured. Drop-side cribs, for instance, are now prohibited. Make sure the crib mattress fits snugly to the sides of the crib; you shouldn’t be able to insert more than two fingers between the crib and the mattress. Do not place any soft objects, including pillows, in the crib until the pediatrician tells you to do so.

Common Areas

In all areas of your home, including the nursery and other bedrooms, you should install window blinds without cords or use cord shorteners. All areas of your home should have protective covers on the outlets and furniture bumpers on sharp corners. Additionally, kneel down before your furniture and try to rock it back and forth. If it’s at risk of toppling, either put the furniture into storage or bolt it to the wall or floor. Many kids are seen at the ER each year after trying to climb on unstable furniture. Be sure to install safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs and in other areas as needed.


In the bathroom, collect all prescription and over-the-counter medicines and store them in a lockbox. Once your baby begins to crawl and climb, you’d be surprised how easy it is for him or her to access dangerous items. Keep mouthwash and other personal care items out of reach.


Install safety latches on all of your cabinets and drawers to prevent your child from accessing sharp objects, cleaning products, and other hazardous items. Place latches on the doors of the stove, microwave, and refrigerator, and use knob covers on the stove knobs.

Despite taking precautions, kids do have a tendency to get into trouble now and then. University Hospital and Medical Center is here to help with our 24/7 Emergency Department in Tamarac, FL. Please call 911 now for rapid transportation to the Emergency Department; otherwise, you can speak with a registered nurse by calling (954) 722-9933.

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