Should I go to Urgent Care or the Emergency Room?
Certain decisions are easy to make. For example, if your car breaks down you take it to a mechanic. If you need a haircut you go to a salon. With healthcare decisions it isn't always as clear about where to go. And under what circumstances you should choose one modality of treatment over another. Have you been faced with this decision? If so, there are several reasons why you should consider visiting the Urgent Care clinic instead of going to the nearest Emergency Room. Let's take a look at some of the decision making factors to consider. Our goal at NewportCare® Medical Group is to provide you with relevant, accurate, and timely information so you make the right medical decision. The first time!
Sometimes you do need to go to the ER.
In life, there are actual emergencies that require you to visit an ER. In today's healthcare climate there is a decrease in available doctors and health insurance coverage changes often. What does this mean for the average person who needs to see a doctor right away? Well, it's quite simple actually. A lot of patients without true emergencies end up at their nearest emergency room. As a patient, you end up spending a lot of time and a considerable amount more money than normal, to treat a simple condition. Many patients find themselves with no other choice. However, that is changing with the opening of walk-in clinics and urgent care centers in Orange County. The goal is not to have to use an ER to treat a common, yet urgent, medical problem. Self.com recently published an article written by Valerie Tejeda, a California based author, editor, contributor, and journalist about what to do when you have a non-coronavirus health emergency. The type of care you seek is more important than ever. You can read the full article here.
What is the impact of going to the ER when you don't need to?
One of the main problems is it takes away much-needed resources from patients who have a true emergency. Think about patients who are severely wounded or critically ill. They are losing time that could be used to treat them. Why is this the case? So much attention is being diverted to patients with non-life threatening issues. This is one of the main reasons that you are seeing an increase in these newer, medically appropriate clinics in Newport Beach and Orange County. At NewportCare® we refer to them as Urgent Care Centers and they are designed to serve a patient who requires medical care but does not need treatment on an emergency basis.
There is always a long wait time in the Emergency Room.
Regardless of what time you arrive at the emergency room, you will wait for a significant length of time. Why does this happen so often? It is a result of several different factors. First, many patients are using the emergency room departments as their primary care physician's office. This leads to a traffic jam of patients waiting to see a doctor. Many patients will spend hours waiting with the hope they see a doctor.
How does the ER determine who gets treated first?
When you arrive in the emergency room, the use of triage is how a doctor determines which patient will first receive medical treatment. Triage means that an individual with the most critical medical emergency will be seen first. It doesn't matter how long you have been waiting. Triage is a process with prioritizes which patient should be given priority medical attention. This is the reason you end up waiting for such a long time. For example, if you are waiting to be seen because you have the flu, and another person is in serious trauma or a life-threatening situation, they are going to be treated right away.
Non-emergency situations are better suited to Urgent Care.
If you have ever been in the ER for a non-emergency medical issue then you probably understand how the ER is compromised in this manner. You have two (2) sets of patients with different medical issues that are both utilizing the services of your local ER. Another way to think about it is this way. When a patient arrives and is seen by a doctor, and that patient has the flu, they are going to be in for as long as a wait time as you. Doctor's cannot walk out a patient because another person arrived and needs their immediate attention. What happens is critical and precious and in certain cases, life-saving time is lost in the treatment of sicknesses that require no more than a brief physical examination. More often than not, a prescription is written to help reduce your symptoms.
You will see a qualified medical professional at NewportCare®
Our Newport Beach urgent care center is overseen by highly- qualified health professionals to address the concerns of people who need to see a doctor but do not need the treatment of an emergency room physician. We treat anything from a urinary tract infection to a broken arm. Our urgent care clinic has all the resources and knowledge of any hospital near you but is aimed at treating those conditions that most often ail people related to broken bones, sprains, or common illnesses that are not quite an emergency.
It is a more accommodating option.
These medical treatment facilities have extended hours past the regular doctor's office. You don't need to panic or worry if someone has an unexplained fever or someone takes a nasty spill and needs medical treatment. Even if something like this does happen on a weekday, you don’t have to call in advance and schedule an appointment. You can walk in, register, and wait to be seen. At triage in the emergency room, you will meet with medical personnel that will assess the situation and determine the severity.
Most doctor's offices are not open on the weekends.
Convenience is the number one reason patients state they went to an urgent care facility. If you stop and think about it, most doctor's offices are not open on the weekends. NewportCare® Medical Group does its best to provide concierge care for our patients. But most medical issues don't occur between nine to five, Monday through Friday. In general, accidents and sickness don't fit into anyone's schedule. Urgent care centers have extended hours and are open on the weekends. The process is easier in that you walk in, register, and wait for the doctor to see you.
You won't pay as much as going to the ER.
Have you gone on your phone and typed in "Urgent Care Near Me"? An Urgent Care center is going to cost you more than seeing your Primary Care Physician. But, it will be much less than a visit to the emergency room. If you aren't convinced you have a real emergency but know you should see a doctor, it's worth going to an urgent care. What happens if you do need emergency treatment? The urgent care center will transport you to the hospital for continued care.
It's worth having peace of mind.
Sitting at home worrying because you can't see your primary care physician is not a way to spend the weekend. Urgent Care Newport Beach offers you an option to see a medical professional. Our hope is this reduces your anxiety. It is always best to go to a professional and trust you are receiving the medical care you need.
Make the best choice.
It's important to make the best choice for yourself when it comes to any medical decision. Are you trying to decide between going to an urgent care center or staying home? Don't be anxiety-ridden and in pain, there is no need to do so. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. You should always do what is the best choice for you. Nobody knows your body the way you do. When in doubt, go to an urgent care center near you.