There is a lot of confusion on where to go for Medical care when certain events happen. This section will help you determine where to go for your needs.
When to Call 911:
Reasons to use an ER
ER's are for emergencies only or severe new problems when a walk-in clinic is closed and the problem can’t wait till morning to see a health provider. Do not use them for routine illnesses that can wait till morning to see a general medical provider.
They see patients on a first come, first serve basis. The wait varies depending upon the urgent problem.
Generally, they are staffed by Physicians, ARNP’s, and PA’s who can diagnose, treat, and write prescriptions. Lab work can be drawn and x-rays taken & interpreted here.
Their goal is to “treat & street” or admit to the hospital for surgery or medical treatment.
Usually they have see patients on a first come, first serve basis. The wait will vary depending upon the particular problem. They are staffed by Physicians, ARNP’s, and PA’s who can diagnose, treat, and write prescriptions. Lab work can be drawn and x-rays taken & interpreted here.
Walk in clinics are designed for situations when you can’t see your health provider and really shouldn’t wait.
Your Doctor or Health Provider's office
If your problem doesn’t involve chest pain, or bleeding, breathing difficulty, a broken bone sticking out of your body, unconsciousness, stroke symptoms, then this place is for you. Then go to your Doctor or Health Provider for these issues:
Illnesses, fevers, rash, health concerns, pain management, depression, substance abuse problems, sprains, strains, reoccurring seizure, pregnancy, abuse, moles....
Worsening pain, a head injury (mild concussion), a mild burn, uncontrolled vomiting/diarrhea, a food/medication reaction, sprains, strains, uncontrolled fevers, an uncontrolled earache, or worsening severe sore throat, or a severe worsening migraine.
It is not for problems that have been going on a long time or for an emergency.
Your family medical provider should be someone you can talk to and who knows your general health and well being. When you have a chronic health problem (more than several weeks), a worry or health concern, need a regular check up, or have a stable new illness--they are the best providers to see. You can see a family doctor, an ARNP (Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner) or Physician Assistant. Your medical provider will do a better job with your general health problems than an emergency department or a walk-in clinic provider because they know you and your health history.
Do not use them for emergencies. This could delay important treatment or end in a serious consequence. If you have chest pain or breathing difficulties or a serious bleeding injury--Call 911. Avoid using a walk-in clinic when your health provider’s office is closed and the problem can wait till morning. Always use them for routine illnesses, health check ups, episodic illnesses like the flu, a severe cold, or new injury. You usually can get shots, tests, and health information that is specific to your needs.