June 16, 2024

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Feeling Sick? Here’s How To Choose Between An ER Visit And An Urgent Care Visit

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We all worry about our health and the last thing you want is to have any serious issues. The last thing you want is to wake up in the middle of the night with devastating pain or some other issue, wondering what the heck you should do.

It’s understandable that you’re seeking immediate medical relief for your issue and your mind might automatically think about heading into the emergency room. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, but you may be in for a long wait, which is what you’re hoping to avoid. Before you head to the ER, consider if you have any of the following issues:

  • Feelings of fainting or dizziness
  • Chest pains
  • Feelings of sudden numbness or weakness
  • A severe headache which can’t be relieved with general aspirin
  • Bleeding you can’t stop
  • Confusion or any severe changes in your mental status
  • Any sort of breathing difficulty such as wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Intense, localized abdominal pain
  • Bloody urine or bloody diarrhea
  • Coughing or vomiting blood

If you find yourself afflicted with any of the conditions listed above, don’t think twice about getting emergency room care. The last thing you want is to roll the dice on your health on even the simplest of medical issues and have it turn into something more severe, especially if you’re a good distance away from the nearest hospital or medical clinic.

Of course, all of the symptoms listed above aren’t the full list of reasons why you might need to go to ER, but if you do have any of them or any other severe medical issues, the emergency room is where you should be. You may think you know your body pretty well, but it’s best not to overdo it with self-diagnosing. Ultimately, you want doctors and trained medical professionals to give you a plan of action for feeling better and for dealing with serious medical issues.

So what happens for less severe issues? The answer is simple: visit an urgent care or your local medical clinic. Urgent care medical clinics are essentially walk-in clinics where you can get in and out and treated for an ever-growing list of common medical issues. More than three million Americans visit urgent cares every week for treatment for issues like sprains, dizziness, sports injuries and sexually transmitted diseases among other things.

Some medical clinics can vary in the type of services they offer, but urgent care facilities all over offer quicker service and more cost-effective ways to get treat for everyday medical issues. Imagine being able to get a flu shot in a matter of minutes or getting treated for things like the common cold and bronchitis quickly rather than making an emergency trip in the middle of the night.

Not only are urgent care medical clinics convenient and cost effective, but you’ll be able to get in and get out and work around your busy schedule much easier. More than half of U.S. urgent cares have a wait time of 15 minutes or less and most have on-site doctors to treat patients rather than out-of-town or regional doctors holding office hours. As if that wasn’t enough, medical clinics like urgent care are open longer. Most are open until 7 p.m. during the week and some are open until 9 p.m. or later. Some are even open on weekends. This makes it easy to stop in to a medical clinic when it’s easiest for you, rather than trying to cram in a medical appointment on your lunch break or having to take time off work.

For life-threatening issues like the ones mentioned above, don’t hesitate in the slightest to visit the emergency room at your local hospital. You don’t want to take changes just to save a little bit of money or a little bit of time. Emergency room doctors have an important role to play in caring for patients in need and for severe medical issues, they’re the people you need to see.

For everyday, non life-threatening injuries and easily-treatable symptoms, an urgent care clinic can save you time and money and get you on the road to recovery.