The internet can be used to find out information on just about anything. There was a study done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, that researches the percentage of people who have used the internet for health information. In this study they looked at the participants who have shared the information they found online with their doctor, verses those who have not. They found that the information shared with doctors to be of higher quality.
Many times injury or illness happens rather quickly; your child falls off the playground equipment at the local park; you slip and fall on ice and this leads to ankle pain and swelling; maybe your husband wakes up in the middle of the night complaining of intense abdominal pain. When situations such as these occur we are often uncertain about where to go for treatment. It can make it even harder to decide what to do if it is the weekend or a holiday and the doctor’s office will be closed for several days. No one wants to wait for hours in an emergency room only to be told that the issue is not serious. On the other hand getting appropriate treatment can save your life in a medical emergency. Knowing the difference between emergency and urgent care and choosing the right one for your symptoms can save your life in a medical emergency.
What Is the Difference Between the Emergency Room and Urgent Care?
Emergency rooms are open all of the time. They do not close and most are very busy. This means that you will typically have to wait a long time to get treated. In spite of this emergency rooms are the best place for treating life-threatening and severe illnesses and injuries. They have a wide variety of services for emergency care that is available after-hours including access to diagnostic tests and specialists. The level of care and testing available at emergency rooms make them the most expensive place to get treatment. The following life-threatening symptoms should always be treated at the emergency room as urgent care centers often do not have the testing and equipment to address these issues. It is best to call 911 or have someone take you to the emergency room right away for any of the symptoms below. This is not an exhaustive list so it is always best to obtain the advice of medical professional right away for any symptoms that you are concerned about.
- Serious allergic reactions to drugs, insect bites or food, such as difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Head injuries
- Severe shortness of breath
- Bleeding that cannot be stopped
- Severe wounds or serious burns
So what if your child has fallen down and possibly has broken a bone? For these types of injuries, you can head to urgent care. Urgent care centers can handle an array of illnesses and injuries, as long as they are not non-life threatening. Many urgent care centers are open on holidays and weekends. In addition, many have extended hours during the day and in the evening. Most have doctors and nurses and a lab and X-ray right onsite.
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When you are feeling sick and cannot get into the doctor, you might be considering a visit to the hospital. This is completely understandable because very few people like to wait in pain. While the hospital can help you with your needs, you also have the option of an extended hours clinic. Here are five reasons why the urgent care is a good idea.
1 – Nighttime Hours
Many people falsely assume that the only doctor available after hours is at the hospital. On the contrary, there are several doctors waiting to assist you at an urgent care. This facility is an extended hours clinic, and it is a great resource during the nighttime hours.
2 – No Appointment Necessary
Like a hospital, the extended hours clinic is a drop-in facility. If you have a terrible sore throat or a migraine, this facility can provide you with quick care. They will assess your problem and determine a solution that is best for your needs.
3 – Affordable Rates
Typically, urgent cares are more affordable than visiting the hospital. In fact, most people have lower out of pocket costs when they visit this type of facility. Even better, you can get the same care at an extended hours clinic.
4 – Tests On Site
Today’s extended hours clinics usually have the ability to perform x-rays or other tests. If you are wondering if your son broke his arm, they can evaluate him. Since everything can be done in one location, you will spend less time waiting. Instead, you can leave with feeling better.
5 – Fast Prescriptions
One of the top benefits of visiting an extended hours clinic is the fast prescription service. Most facilities have pharmacies on site, allowing them to quickly address your needs. You can return home with the right prescription instead of having to make another stop.
It is not surprising that so many people prefer urgent cares to hospitals. They provide a convenient and affordable solution to your medical needs. Visit one in your area the next time you get sick.
Everyone should have a good family doctor that they can count on. A family practice can help you with a variety of medical needs including regular checkups, physicals, shots, and referrals. Since your health is valuable, use the following tips to ensure that you are visiting the right family practice.
When you are looking for a family doctor, make sure that they have appointments available. If you have to wait a month to see the family doctor, it might be best to find someone else. After all, you never know when you will need this doctor’s help. If you suddenly get sick, it is nice to have someone available to help you.
Another aspect to consider when it comes to appointments is the hours. Since life gets busy and you never know when sickness will come, it is a good idea to look for a practice with flexible hours. It might even be smart to choose an office that has nighttime appointments. When an office has flexibility with their hours, it will be easier to schedule your visits.
Ease of Prescriptions
If you take medicine regularly or rely on it when you are sick, then look for a family practice that makes it easy to fill your prescriptions. You do not want to have to wait hours or days to get the medicine you need. This is why many offices have pharmacies on site.
Many people also like to go to family practices that offer specialized attention. For example, if you have young children, then it might be smart to find a pediatric doctor. In addition to this type of specialty, you can look for a practice that offers additional services besides the traditional sick visit. This way you can get checkups, physicals, and shots at the family practice.
If you are not sure what family practice to choose, consider your local urgent care. They are a useful resource for your medical needs.
Flu season officially started last week and can last through March in some areas. You should get the Flu shot as early as you can because it take the body about two weeks to begin producing antibodies after the vaccine has been administered. You can go to any local pharmacy and sometimes your place of work will bring in a doctor to give Flu shots to keep their employees healthy. While most people that encounter the Flu will just require rest some people are more prone to complications. Pregnant women, the elderly, the young, and people with other health conditions such as asthma are at a increased risk and should recieve the Flu vaccine to guard against these issues. When you get a Flu vaccine you are not only protecting yourself but people around you as well, if you work with children under 6 months old you should get the vaccine to protect the children too. If needles are a scary thought for you there are new ways to reieve the vaccine. You can have a nasal spray, intradermally, or a cell-based vaccine.
Click here to read the full article by Anna Almendrala on Huffington Post.