Are you stuck deciding between a visit to a Restore Health Urgent Care, making an appointment with your family doctor, or visiting an emergency room? If you’re ever in doubt and experiencing serious symptoms, it is best to seek immediate care at the closest emergency room. But there are several important distinctions between the type of care you can receive at different medical facilities that can help make this decision easier.

Today, we’re going to talk about exactly what is urgent care and when you should use it as opposed to other forms of medical care.

What is urgent care?

Urgent care is meant to provide patients with fast, effective care when:

  • Their family doctor’s office is closed
  • They can not get in soon enough
  • If they do not need to visit an emergency room

Because about 85% of urgent care clinics are open seven days a week, they are a convenient alternative to family practices on evenings and weekends. As it turns out, the need for after hours or weekend urgent care is quite high. According to the Urgent Care Association, more than 112 million visits are made to urgent care centers each year!

When should I go to urgent care?

If you’re ever in doubt, it’s always best to seek emergency treatment – don’t take chances with your health!

But generally speaking, urgent care is a good option when you require medical care within 24 hours, but you’re not experiencing a true emergency.

Here are some guidelines for when a trip to urgent care makes sense:

  • Moderate respiratory issues: a minor cough or chest congestion could warrant a trip to urgent care
  • Sprains and fractures: Most urgent care centers (about 4 in 5) are equipped to deal with fractures, so this could be an option if you’re experiencing this type of injury.
  • You require non-emergent diagnostic testing: A number of medical conditions can be diagnosed at urgent care, and you can also receive on-the-spot testing for things like STDs.
  • Colds or flus
  • Rashes and skin irritations
  • Ear infections

Are you curious about telemedicine and urgent care during COVID-19? Take a look at this blog post. 

When should I go to the emergency room?

Emergency Room

Now, in the event you’re suffering from a serious or life-threatening condition, visit an ER right away.

Here are a few examples of when you should go to an emergency room:

  • You’re experiencing sudden chest pain
  • Moderate to severe shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Sudden numbness, weakness, or dizziness
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Fever with convulsions or any fever for children under three months old
  • Vomiting or coughing blood, blood in the urine or stool

Can I wait to see my family doctor?

Anytime you have ongoing, non-life-threatening medical issues, your family doctor or GP could be called for help. Family doctors can treat many conditions. But it’s often a question of how quickly you can get in to see them. If there is no sense of urgency for your visit (for example if you need to book your yearly physical) start by booking with your family doctor.

If you have a chronic health condition, chat with your doctor ahead of time about how often you should be seen and when to seek emergency care.

Did you know Restore Health Urgent Care also offers family medicine? Our primary care physicians offer friendly, personalized medical care in Palm Bay to people of all ages. Learn more about our primary care services here. 

Restore Health Urgent care in Palm Bay, Florida

Urgent Care

If you’ve decided it’s time for a trip to urgent care, Restore Health Urgent Care in Palm Bay, Florida is here for you. Our patients and their safety is always our priority. We believe in short wait times, fewer forms, and less hassle. We work hard to create an effortless experience that will make you say, “WOW!”

In addition to treating a number of non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries, we also offer flu shots and much more. See a full list of our services here.

With our on-site laboratory services, digital imaging, and X-ray services, Restore Health Urgent Care can usually treat you and your family within 15 minutes of check-in! Book an appointment online now to get started.

Did you learn a lot from this post? Here are three more you might like:

CAN YOU ESTABLISH A PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN AT URGENT CARE?

URGENT CARE, TESTING, & MORE FOR VETERANS DURING COVID-19

COMMON COLD OR SINUS INFECTION