In many situations, urgent clinic care is much more helpful than the long wait time you will face in the emergency room. Additionally, there are some different types of clinics that provide initial and recovery care for specific injuries and illnesses. The most important thing to remember when making the initial decision between the emergency room and a clinic is whether or not your issue is life-threatening. That is the question that the registration team at the hospital will ask.
Other Questions to Consider
It may easily be seen that a condition you face is not life-threatening. However, it may be a chronic condition for which you have been treated for a great deal of time already. Given the fact that about 60% of all American baby boomers are facing chronic conditions, these would likely not be considered life-threatening upon walking into the emergency room. But, if you are faced to continue waiting for hours without treatment, there is potential for that issue to get worse. Luckily, with clinic care, you have access to expert doctors who can help maintain your existing condition 24 hours a day.
Therefore, ask yourself some of these questions before rushing to the emergency room where you could be placed in a waiting line that lasts hours:
- Is your pain serious or just aggravating?
- Is it a pain that needs surgery or more likely needs physical therapy and treatment?
- Are you facing more chest or abdominal pressure than sharp pain?
- Do you have additional symptoms of a more serious illness or conditions or just pain?
- Do you have a fracture or sprain that can be temporarily immobilized until you get to the doctor’s office?
Remember that these are only some of the questions that you can consider when addressing the issue of seeing an urgent care physician rather than the emergency room. In thousands of urgent care centers across the country, there are about 20,000 certified doctors who serve all patients. Considering the fear related to chest pain, there is often no real reason to believe you are currently suffering a heart attack, making clinic care worth the trip. Determine whether or not you have the additional symptoms of a heart attack, as the most common urgent care diagnosis as of 2012 was an upper respiratory condition. That chest pain can often be confused with a heart attack when the time is not taken to analyze the additional symptoms of a heart attack. If you visit urgent care with either of these, you will be more likely to see a doctor right away, and then if it is a heart attack, you will be transported to the hospital immediately for emergency treatment. And even better, if you only have the upper respiratory condition, you end up saving a lot of money by choosing clinic care over the emergency room.