Have you ever been met with a medical concern, something that was not quite an emergency but that you would rather not wait until your physician?s office hours? This is a common concern among people involved in an injury or suffering the symptoms of a minor illness. You debate if an emergency room visit it warranted or you consider if you can wait until your doctor is in the office. With the holiday season coming up, your physician?s office is likely to have less appointment times. Be prepared for any medical concerns and understand your clinic care options.
Wait for an open appointment with your primary physician
This option may be tempting for some. You are familiar with your physician and they already have all of your medical records. You are confident with their abilities to treat your medical concerns. But, the wait time could be too long, depending on their availability. Also, some medical conditions should not wait. Most primary physician?s offices follow normal business hours, with extended breaks during the holiday season. This is in comparison to 85% of urgent care centers being open seven days a week.
Visit your local emergency room department
All hospitals have connected emergency room departments. These are open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to handle and treat any medical emergencies. However, emergency rooms are known for their long waits and expensive costs. Also, if you are not actually suffering from an emergency, you are making those who are, wait longer for medical care.
Emergency rooms may be the only option if you are truly experiencing a medical emergency. However, most medical concerns can wait until the morning, granted that it is not an emergency. If you can wait for medical care in the morning, you can visit your physician?s office if you are able to get an appointment, or you can walk into an urgent clinic care.
Telecommute medical care
This is a newer concept, but you are likely to hear more about it over the next few years. Telecommute medical offices allow you to ask the doctors in the office questions from your own home. You can talk with them virtually over the internet, usually with some form of web video. The problem with this model is that although you can receive quick medical care, the doctor is unable to physically examine you. This model might be acceptable for common colds or skin conditions, but would not be ideal for any medical condition that might require medical testing.
Visit an after hours urgent care center
The urgent care centers are also a relatively new concept, but are becoming more and more popular as patients learn of their benefits. They are generally not 24 hour facilities, but do offer extended hours, often much longer than primary physician?s offices and do not require an appointment. The urgent clinic care center also allows you to see the best doctors, in a much shorter wait time than the emergency department.
Urgent clinic care centers are able to see a variety of medical conditions. They can see cold and illness, back pains, and sprains, along with a variety of other medical concerns. About four out of five urgent care centers provide fracture care, which makes it a good option even for those concerns that require medical testing. With approximately 20,000 physicians practicing Urgent Care Medicine today, you are likely to find a center that is short wait time, great medical care, and extremely convenient for all of your medical needs.
Every day, many people are faced with the dilemma of what to do when they experience an illness or injury and their regular physician?s office is closed. It is always a good idea to understand your medical care options, in case an emergency does occur. Patients can wait until their primary physician?s office reopens and they can get an appointment, visit their local emergency room department, contact a physician virtually, or walk into their local urgent clinic care center. Ensure you know all of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of location first.