About 55% of all medical appointments in the United States are made with primary care physicians, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and the reason that most of those appointments get made? The CDC says that most appointments address a cough. However, serious respiratory infections, strange symptoms, or acute injuries can and do happen. When they do, are you clear on who to go to? Generally, you have three options.
- Your general physician.
- An urgent care facility.
- The Emergency Room.
Did you know that the average wait time in a doctor’s office is about 19 minutes in the U.S.? In an emergency room, the average wait time is six hours! This comes from research done by Press Ganey Associates in 2009, and it also showed that about 400,000 people actually had to wait upwards of 24 hours. Part of this is overcrowding, part of it is increased need, but much of it can be attributed to individuals seeking help when they are not experiencing an emergency.
Fortunately, walk-in clinics and urgent care facilities fill in the gap between your general physician, and the emergency room. If you are not clear on where to go when your health takes a bad turn, then consider this brief guide.
Go to your regular doctor at a health clinic if…
- It’s just a cough.
- It’s not life-threatening, and something that your doctor has treated in the past.
The rule of thumb is, if the condition does not require immediate attention, then it can wait until you get an appointment with the doctor.
Go to urgent care, or after hour care if…
- It’s a minor burn or injury.
- It’s a sprain, or broken bone.
- It’s an allergic reaction that is not affecting your breathing.
If you need assistance above and beyond what you would get from your normal doctor, but your life is not in danger, then an urgent care center is usually the best option. Remember, an urgent care center may not be as well prepared as an emergency clinic or ER if your situation is out of the ordinary.
Go to an emergency clinic if…
- It’s causing difficulty breathing.
- It’s sudden, or severe, abdominal or chest pain.
- It’s a stroke, or a suspected stroke.
- It’s an injury to your head, or spine.
- It’s any kind of major trauma.
Emergency clinics are open every day, at all hours, and are equipped to care of the most dire of illnesses and injuries. If the matter is not urgent, and you have a choice as to where you receive treatment, then consider looking at reviews online before selecting a clinic. You might learn from other patients what a particular office specializes in, and whether or not it is worth a visit. Remember also to choose a clinic depending on what it is that you need treated, to reduce wait times, and ensure that you get the best care possible. Research more here: San antonio mri scan