When you experience a sudden unexpected illness or an injury, you want to be seen right away. Yet not all concerns are life-threatening and therefore may not warrant a trip to the emergency room. Knowing where to go for your symptoms not only helps you receive the right type of care, but also helps clinical staff provide care in a timely manner for you and other patients.
When should you go to your Primary Care Provider?
For all non-life-threatening emergencies, always call your primary care provider first. Your provider knows your history and can advise you when to use the other options for care.
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When should you go to the Urgent Care?
Visit the urgent care for minor illness or injury that’s not life-threatening occurring outside of your primary care provider’s regular hours.
When should you go to the Emergency Room (ER)?
Making a visit to the ER should be reserved for severe symptoms and/or life threating conditions. Emergency physicians are experts in life-threating situations like the ones listed below. Their goal is to quickly diagnose, treat and stabilize your condition, and then they will typically refer you back to your regular doctor or specialist for any follow-up care that is needed.
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If you’re still unsure of where to go for appropriate medical care, it’s best to check with your primary care provider. And remember, for a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately.