Where is the best place to go for medical treatment? It’s always an important question to consider when deciding between a visit to the Emergency Room or another kind of care facility. Whilst a trip to the Emergency Room is always necessary for life-threatening conditions, Urgent Care Centers are a more suitable alternative for low-severity conditions that still require medical attention.
The next time you’re faced with the dilemma of whether to go to the Emergency Room or an Urgent Care clinic, ask yourself these four questions.
1. Is your medical issue ongoing, or a serious isolated incident?
If you are experiencing dizziness or chest pains, you must go straight to the Emergency Room to receive care. However, if your medical condition is less severe, booking an appointment with an Urgent Care Center near you might be more suitable.
Your local Center is more likely to have a greater understanding of your medical history from the relationship they already have with you. What’s more, they are often able to offer other services related to your medical condition, such as in-office minor surgery and follow up care, to help address any broader issues and prevent the stress of continued trips to the Emergency Room.
2. Remote discussion, or a face-to-face consultation?
The COVID-19 Pandemic has forced a change in the way that many medical appointments are conducted. Of course, if there is an urgent need to be seen by a medical professional, this is still possible. Ask yourself, though; is my medical issue something that could be discussed over the phone with my Urgent Care office? Do I need to wait to see a doctor, or could I be triaged by another member of staff such as a nurse practitioner or physician assistant?
If the answer is yes, find out whether your local care center offers telemedicine services. It might be the case that your consultation and treatment plan could be delivered remotely, saving you time during your busy schedule and a lengthy visit to the Emergency Room.
3. Is there a more convenient way to get the treatment you need?
In need of the flu shot, or an annual wellness physical? For medical treatment that certainly doesn’t require a night in hospital, it’s worth checking with your employer or local Urgent Care Clinic to see whether or not services such as these are offered through your employment.
Very often, clinics will either administer medication or deliver check-ups on-site, or will run a walk-in clinic near you so that you receive the treatment you need, when you need it, without having to wait at the Emergency Room or schedule time off work.
4. Will you need to discuss other treatment options?
The Emergency Room is an essential tool for tackling critical illness with conventional methods, but what happens if your medical issue will only respond to treatments that are not conventional? You might need a long-term treatment plan that requires regular time and attention given by a medical professional?
Treatments that need to be medically supervised, such as weight loss programs, diabetes reversal, and the administering of medical marijuana, work better in a local and more informal environment. Your local Urgent Care Clinic will be able to schedule appointments that work for you, track your progress, and suggest long-term options for your treatment.
So, the vital question of Emergency Room vs Urgent Care? It all depends on the type of medical condition you have and the way in which it needs to be treated. But, with the range of services and specializations being offered by walk-in clinics ever increasing, it’s time for us all to consider a change of mindset when making our decision.
Click here to contact your local Urgent Care Centre for more information!