When you feel physically ill, you probably want nothing more than to be back to your normal self again. You might make an appointment with your doctor or try some home remedies. Maybe you head to your closest urgent care location if your doctor is unavailable or you feel particularly under the weather and want to be seen quickly. But when something is really wrong, you might start to panic. You might think you should make the pilgrimage to the ER; even though you don't feel your life is in danger, you feel like emergency staff will be in the best position to help you.
While it's certainly better to be safe than sorry, it's times like these when it's helpful to be able to recognize the emergency vs non-emergency signs. If you're able to differentiate a true medical emergency from a situation that requires urgent treatment, you can potentially save yourself a lot of time, money, and frustration. In today's post, we'll discuss some of the most common examples of urgent medical situations and emergency scenarios. But of course, if you're ever unsure as to whether it's an emergency vs non-emergency, you should err on the side of caution and go to an emergency center (ideally, one that also has an urgent care clinic in-house!).
Emergency Vs Non-Emergency: Common Examples
Knowing the Difference Between Emergency Vs Non-Emergency is CriticalIn the midst of a health crisis, it can be tough to know where to go for treatment. After all, you don't want to make a costly mistake that could result in making matters worse. But if you're able to take an honest assessment of symptoms and determine whether it's truly a life-threatening scenario or can be treated at a walk-in clinic, you'll be more likely to receive the treatment you actually need in a shorter time frame.
That said, you don't always have to make that choice. If you opt for a unique treatment center that houses both an ER and an urgent care clinic, you'll be in good hands no matter what. This can make it substantially easier to receive the right treatment quickly and at an affordable price. To find out more about what makes our center special and how we can help you, please contact us today.
More than one quarter (27%) of U.S. patients reported in 2016 that they had visited an urgent care center in the last two years. That's because there is a wide range of reasons to go to urgent care as opposed to the emergency room. On the other hand, some symptoms that may seem minor could actually be emblematic of bigger underlying issues. Coughing is a great example of this: as a common side effect to cold and flu-related illnesses, coughs come in many types. Here's what you need to know about diagnosing your cough and figuring out when to go urgent care.
Diagnosing Your Cough
Chances are, you've had a cough before -- it's your body's natural defensive response against toxins like smoke, allergens, and mucus. But there are many ways to describe your cough, and the type of cough you have, as well as your other symptoms, will determine whether urgent care is necessary. When you first notice that you've developed a cough, take note of when it comes on most frequently during the day or night. Listen to the sound and think about the feel as well. Also, take note of whether or not it leads to vomiting, keeps you up during the night, or has another side effect that may be out of the ordinary. Finally, take note of how long it lasts. If it goes on for several weeks, chances are higher that it's something serious.
When to Visit Urgent Care
As mentioned, many coughs are a normal side effect of the average cold or flu. But keep an eye out for other unexpected or potentially severe symptoms: if you're coughing up blood, too weak to talk or walk, experiencing significant dehydration, or you have a fever above 100.4 degrees F, seek medical attention. Furthermore, if your cough lasts more than eight weeks, sounds like severe wheezing, or is generally atypical, it's best to err on the side of caution and keep yourself protected with convenient care treatment options.
Ultimately, it's up to you to notice when your cough is normal or whether it may be a sign of something more serious. If you're unsure, it's always best to stop in and visit and urgent care for a professional diagnosis. For more information about the reasons to go to urgent care, contact LegacyER.
Watching your child suffer for any reason is unbearable as a parent, but sometimes it can be easy to jump to extreme reactions that aren't strictly necessary. If you've ever been compelled to rush your child to the emergency room at the first sign of trouble, the chances are it's not really an emergency; in fact, 70% of emergency room visits are for non-emergency conditions. Figuring out what is an emergency, what is an urgent problem, and what can be handled at a doctor's appointment next week is one of those vital things they never teach you about when you become a parent; we're here to help.
Logic Over Emotion
It can be natural to assume the "better safe than sorry" attitude and head to the ER if you think it's required, but it's important to exercise your best judgment and truly think about the situation. If your two-year-old child has a fever and is tugging at their ear, it doesn't mean they have a life-threatening illness: a trip to a childrens urgent care or setting an appointment with their pediatrician will almost certainly discover they have an ear infection. If your five-year-old is sneezing and running a fever in the winter, they probably just have the flu.
Emergency Room Risks
Consider the emergency center experience: your already sick child will be surrounded by those who are legitimately having an emergency, not to mention all the germs they're being exposed to in such a concentrated area. Additionally, since emergency centers treat the sickest, most severely injured patients first, you could have an exceptionally long wait ahead of you, only to hear the doctor tell you this could've been handled by a short visit to the childrens urgent care. There usually isn't a need for both of you to have to go through such a taxing situation.
Urgent Care Risks
On the other hand, knowing when to skip urgent care clinics is important as well. Many urgent cares can treat small, simple fractures, but complete bone breaks need to be seen and treated in a facility that is equipped to handle them. Additionally, if your child is under the age of two and has a fever, that is always an emergency, and waiting can be exceptionally risky.
It's fairly easy to tell when an injury is bad enough to see a doctor immediately. Crisis situations and sudden severe injuries can be stressful, and in a moment of panic, it is difficult to know whether to go to an urgent care clinic or an emergency room. Here are some guidelines to help you make the right choice between urgent care or emergency room visits when in an emergency.
Urgent Care Clinics
Urgent care clinics are designed to help when a normal visit with your family doctor can't wait. Generally, urgent care visits are best for non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses that are still serious or need to be addressed in a timely fashion. This can include:
Generally, try to opt for urgent care clinics if you're not sure if a situation is serious enough for an emergency room. Typically, only 3% of patients who come to an urgent care center need to be diverted to the emergency room; therefore, it's likely that if you go to an urgent care clinic, you're in the right place.
Emergency room visits should be reserved for when a situation is life-threatening or otherwise immediately dangerous. Emergency rooms are designed for taking care of the most serious of injuries and illnesses, including:
Any of these injuries, illnesses, or symptoms could potentially be life-threatening, meaning it is crucial to get to an emergency room as quick as possible. Call an ambulance or otherwise get the injured or ill person to an emergency room as quickly as possible in these situations, as an emergency room will be able to provide the necessary care.
Choosing the right type of care for your situation can mean reduced wait times, proper care for the situation, and ultimately reduced cost as emergency room visits can be expensive. Make sure to remember these guidelines next time you or a loved one are in a crisis and need prompt health care.
The emergency room is known as the place to go when you're in a potentially life-threatening situation. Unfortunately, many patients believe the ER is actually a one-stop shop for all sorts of maladies, from superficial scrapes to common colds. This mistaken belief can backfire, leading to everything from long waits to overcrowded waiting rooms. If you're trying to decide whether a trip to the ER is actually necessary, you might want to read this post first. We're discussing some of the most misguided reasons to go to the emergency room in the hopes that you'll think twice before making the ER your go-to spot for treatment.
Why Do People Go To the ER When They Don't Need To?
There are many reasons to go to the emergency room, many of which are entirely valid. But for a non-medical emergency, an urgent care center is your best bet. If you opt for emergency room visits instead, you could end up waiting around for far longer and will likely contribute to ER overcrowding. Of course, going to a facility that has both an ER and an urgent care center will eliminate confusion and make it easy for you to receive the treatment you need -- whether it's a true emergency or you simply need quick care. For more information, contact us today.
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