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Emergency Department vs. Urgent Care: Where Should You Go?

Making quick choices is tough, especially when you or someone in your family needs fast medical attention. When it comes to getting help, where should you be going: the urgent care center or the emergency room?

“Urgent care centers and emergency rooms both offer similar services, like x-rays and blood tests,” explains Bernadette Weis, Nurse Manager of the Emergency Department at Paoli Hospital. “But depending on your medical need, one facility might be a better option than the other.”

Knowing where to go for appropriate care is important. Although split-second decisions are typical in medical emergencies, familiarizing yourself with what constitutes a trip to the emergency room or urgent care center before you need it can help. Head to the emergency room if you notice symptoms like:
  • Chest pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • A head or back injury
  • Persistent bleeding or vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Poisoning
  • Major burn or cut
  • Choking
For other health emergencies, like a minor sprain, small cut, or sore throat, urgent care centers can usually provide adequate treatment. Before you head to an urgent care center, call your primary care physician first. They may be able to provide advice over the phone or schedule you for an immediate appointment.

Although urgent care centers can provide medical treatment in some emergency situations, don’t take too long determining where to go.

“If you’re unsure about what kind of medical attention is required, play it safe and head to an emergency room,” says Weis.

Need an appointment during an evening or weekend? Main Line Health NOW offers care during hours when most doctor’s offices are closed, no appointment necessary.
 
Posted by Main Line Health on 5/29/2013 11:46:40 AM
Read more articles about: Paoli_Hospital, Emergency

Emergency Department vs. Urgent Care: Where Should You Go?

Making quick choices is tough, especially when you or someone in your family needs fast medical attention. When it comes to getting help, where should you be going: the urgent care center or the emergency room?

“Urgent care centers and emergency rooms both offer similar services, like x-rays and blood tests,” explains Bernadette Weis, Nurse Manager of the Emergency Department at Paoli Hospital. “But depending on your medical need, one facility might be a better option than the other.”

Knowing where to go for appropriate care is important. Although split-second decisions are typical in medical emergencies, familiarizing yourself with what constitutes a trip to the emergency room or urgent care center before you need it can help. Head to the emergency room if you notice symptoms like:
  • Chest pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • A head or back injury
  • Persistent bleeding or vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Poisoning
  • Major burn or cut
  • Choking
For other health emergencies, like a minor sprain, small cut, or sore throat, urgent care centers can usually provide adequate treatment. Before you head to an urgent care center, call your primary care physician first. They may be able to provide advice over the phone or schedule you for an immediate appointment.

Although urgent care centers can provide medical treatment in some emergency situations, don’t take too long determining where to go.

“If you’re unsure about what kind of medical attention is required, play it safe and head to an emergency room,” says Weis.

Need an appointment during an evening or weekend? Main Line Health NOW offers care during hours when most doctor’s offices are closed, no appointment necessary.
 
Posted by Main Line Health on 5/29/2013 11:46:40 AM
Read more articles about: Paoli_Hospital, Emergency
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