You know you need to see a doctor, but you’re not sure the best place to go. Do you rush to the Emergency Room? Should you go to an Urgent Care? Or, can it all wait and you should simply schedule an office visit to get your medical need addressed?
All of these questions are common. It’s hard to know where to go and when. We’ve created a simple guide for you based on symptoms and your level of pain to help you decide how you should go about getting the care you need.
You need it addressed, but a day or two will do
If your symptoms or medical need is mild, your Primary Care Physician can help. Whether it’s seeing him or her specifically or working with a nurse practitioner or physician assistant, the comfort of your go-to office where you have everything on file is a great option to get your care addressed. Typically, conditions like the following would be reasons to call your Primary Care Physician and make an appointment.
- Mild flu-like symptoms
- Cough and congestion
- Sore throat
- Ear pain
- Eye redness or itchiness
You need care fast, but it’s not life threatening
Going to an Urgent Care instead of going to the Emergency Room can save you both time and money. If you go the Emergency Room and it is determined that your situation is non-life threatening, you can spend hours waiting to be seen by a doctor. Beyond that, with less advanced technology and fewer on-site specialists, your out-of-pocket costs will often times be far lower at an Urgent Care.
Need a few more reasons to choose Urgent Care? In most cases, you will likely have access to on-site labs and X-rays. With flexible hours that include being open seven days a week and at night, when you need support, they have time to help. Here are just a few reasons to go to Urgent Care.
- On-site labs and X-rays
- Headaches and migraines
- Rashes or hives
- Sprains and strains
- Bladder infections
- Bug bites or stings
- Sinus infections
- Minor cuts and lacerations
Time is of the essence when it’s serious and life-threatening
Sure, there are many medical conditions that don’t require a visit to the Emergency Room, but there are also plenty that do. Open 24 hours a day, when an emergency medical condition arises, you’ll have access to the latest state-of-the-art technology and specialists who are trained to get you the care you need in at a moment’s notice. Here are a few reasons to go to the Emergency Room.
- Chest pain
- Compound fractures
- Extreme difficulty breathing
- Severe allergic reactions
- Coughing up blood
No matter the care you need, it’s important to understand where to go and when. Make sure your family members are aware of different types of medical situations and the care they require. Together, whether minor or major, you can get the medical attention you need – right when you need it.