Posted on April 03, 2015
No one ever likes to think about themselves or their child being sick or injured, but sickness never takes a day off and accidents happen; even on the weekends. When they do, it’s best to be prepared and have a plan of action. When you understand all your options you can be confident you and your family will get the best, and most appropriate, medical care possible.
Read on to learn when to see your primary doctor, when to visit the emergency room, and when it might be best to seek treatment at an urgent care facility.
When to See Your Family Physician
Your family’s primary doctor is often the best option when someone is sick or hurt. He or she most likely has an ongoing relationship with you and knows your medical history best. In addition, your family doctor offers more complete, patient-centered care that addresses the mind, body, and spirit. He provides high-quality continuity of care, as do his team of nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
For adults, see your primary doctor when your condition can wait: Aching joints, cough or sniffles with no fever, a sore ankle, recurring headaches, or a minor rash. Concerning children, it’s best to see a board-certified pediatrician if the patient is an infant or very young child, especially if the child has complicated medical conditions. But it’s important to note that if a small child suffers a life-threatening injury or illness—at a time when the pediatrician’s office is closed—she should immediately be taken to the nearest ER.
When to Visit the ER
Most of us are often confused as to what injuries and illnesses require a visit to the emergency room. We experience a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, a common sprain, or some other minor injury and assume a visit to the ER makes sense when our family physician’s office is closed—this is NOT the case. Unfortunately, ERs across the country are filled with patients who do not require emergency services. This puts a tremendous strain on ER staff and drastically increases patients’ wait times.
So, when should you go to the ER? Here are just a few examples from Blue Cross Blue Shield:
- Persistent chest pain, especially if it radiates to your arm or jaw and is accompanied by sweating, vomiting, or shortness of breath;
- Severe pain, particularly in the abdomen or starting halfway down the back;
- Loss of balance or fainting;
- Difficulty speaking, altered mental status, or confusion;
- Weakness or paralysis;
- Severe heart palpitations;
- Loss of vision;
- Deep cuts that require stitches—especially on the face;
- High fevers or fevers with rash;
- Bleeding that won’t stop or a large open wound;
- Serious burns; and
- Seizures without a previous diagnosis of epilepsy.
Making a trip to the ER can also hit you in the wallet. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), average expenses for all people who had one or more visits to an ER in 2009 were $1,318. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, reports that in 2011 the average in-network cost of an emergency room visit for someone with private health insurance was approximately $933. An Annals of Internal Medicine study found that the average 2009 cost of an ER visit for three common illnesses—middle ear infection, sore throat, and urinary tract infection—was $570.
Why spend hours waiting at the ER, and pay more, when you could visit an urgent care facility and be charged a simple co-pay?
The Benefits of Urgent Care
Urgent care centers are walk-in medical facilities that provide care on a no-appointment basis and are often open for extended hours, including nights and weekends. Urgent care centers are a cost-effective alternative to emergency rooms for the treatment of non-life-threatening medical situations such as cuts, sprains, flu symptoms, and infections. Many physicians’ offices offer same-day appointments for care, but urgent care is a great option when appointments are unavailable or if you need treatment outside normal office hours.
CCHC’s New Bern Family Practice Urgent Care is a smart option when you or a family member encounters a minor medical emergency. Whether you have an earache, sore throat, or if you cut yourself while preparing dinner, a highly-qualified team of doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners are on hand to help. Providers can also address issues such as insect or pet bites, minor breathing issues, sprains and fractures, and abdominal pain—all for the cost of your insurance co-pay.
You can rest assured that New Bern Family Practice Urgent Care provides excellent laboratory and X-ray services, can run diagnostic tests, and even dispense prescriptions. All the services you may need are located in one convenient location and provided by a caring and attentive staff.
The next time a minor emergency occurs, don’t rush to the ER—make the quick drive to New Bern’s only family practice urgent care facility. Open every day of the week, it’s the smart option for you and your family.
CCHC Urgent Care is located at 1040 Medical Park Ave., New Bern, NC. Call (252) 638-CARE (2273) for more information.
CCHC – Urgent Care – Open on Weekends!
Monday-Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Sunday: 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Holidays: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas