There are so many medical care options today. In past years, your only option was to visit your local community doctor when you needed medical care. Today, you not only have a variety of medical professionals locally to choose from, you also probably have many emergency room options within short driving distance. Also, you have even additional options with urgent care facilities. Urgent care facilities are relatively new, but they are expanding and you have probably noticed many of them in just around your house. The question then becomes, when do you visit an emergency room? When should you wait and see your family medical professional? What about the urgent care facilities, when are they even necessary?
Each type of medical unit provides advantages and disadvantages, depending on the type of medical concern. Some are more useful in specific situations, whereas others might be more time consuming and not entirely necessary for some medical conditions and some specific situations. It really all depends on the specific situation and the medical concern.
An emergency room is generally reserved for those who are truly experiencing an emergency health problem. Although emergency rooms are generally used after primary care doctor office?s hours, they may also be necessary for truly life threatening medical concerns. If you were having, say chest pains, it is probably not very beneficial to visit your local primary care doctor, even if they have open availability. If there is a real medical problem, the family health clinic will simply send you to the emergency room, either yourself or via ambulance anyways. If your medical concern is an actual emergency or is likely to require some type of testing, like MRI, XRAY or CT scan, it is probably beneficial to visit your local emergency department.
If you are experiencing minor medical concerns, such as aches and pains associated with an infection, or flu like symptoms, the emergency department may not be necessary. You will be required to wait for a long time to see a doctor, and you will likely simply be prescribed medication that could have been prescribed in your family providers or after hours urgent care setting. You will also pay emergency room prices, and even with insurance for family care, you are likely to be responsible for a large amount of money for the medical care received.
If your medical concern is not time sensitive at all, it could benefit you to either go to your family health medical professional or to urgent care facilities. If it is a chronic condition, you are better off seeing your family health provider. They have medical records of your previous conditions and treatments, providing you better care. They can also refer you to a specialist, if needed, whereas a urgent care facility will not.
However, if your concern is more confidential and involves something like anonymous STD testing, a community health clinic or an urgent care facility may be more ideal. They do not have your medical records on hand, and it will not be added to your medical records, unless you request it to be. Many people prefer the urgent care level of confidentiality and privacy for things like confidential STD testing. It could also be beneficial for pregnancy and paternity tests that you would prefer to remain confidential.
Fortunately, today you have many options when it comes to receiving medical care. If you are truly having an emergency, it is important to visit your local emergency room department. However, if you your medical concern is not as time sensitive, you can wait until you can get an open appointment with your family health provider. Additionally, if you are looking for something more private and confidential that will not be added to your personal medical history lists, you may find more privacy at a local urgent care facility. It is important to really gauge your medical needs and to always visit an emergency room, when you feel that there is an emergency health condition.