When you are injured or feeling ill, there are several choices for seeking medical attention. If you live in the Monroe, New York area, you must decide whether to make an appointment with your personal physician, go to a hospital emergency room, or visit a Monroe urgent care center.
It’s not uncommon for patients to be confused about which health care option is best for their personal situation. Although every circumstance is unique, there are a few guidelines that can help you to determine the best course of action.
What is an Urgent Care Center?
Urgent care centers are medical facilities designed to provide treatment to patients with non-life-threatening illnesses or injuries. Patients typically choose to go to an urgent care center when their illness or injury is not considered an emergency, but it cannot wait until a primary care physician has an open appointment.
Urgent care centers tend to be the busiest overnight and during holidays when physicians’ offices are closed. It’s important to note that urgent care centers are generally not equipped to deal with problems that are immediately life-threatening. Legitimate emergencies always warrant a trip to the hospital emergency room.
What is Considered an Emergency?
An illness or injury that can cause permanent impairment or death is considered an emergency. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Signs of heart attack
- Signs of stroke
- Seizures, convulsions, or loss of consciousness
- Deep knife or gunshot wounds
- Serious neck, back, or head injury
- Fever in babies less than 3 months old
- Moderate to severe burns
- Extreme abdominal pain
- Heavy bleeding that cannot be controlled
- Difficulty breathing
- Sudden paralysis
If you experience life-threatening health issues, don’t hesitate to call 911 immediately. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to always trust your instincts. If the situation feels like an emergency, head straight to the nearest hospital emergency room.
When Should You Consider Monroe Urgent Care?
It’s best to visit an urgent care center when your non-emergency medical issue needs to be attended to within a 24-hour period. If the issue is one you would be comfortable addressing with your doctor during regular office hours, it’s likely a case for urgent care rather than the emergency room.
Conditions that warrant an urgent care visit may include:
- Fever without rash
- Flu-like symptoms
- Accidents and injuries
- Minor broken bones or fractures
- Sprains and strains
- Eye infections or injuries
- Severe cough or sore throat
- Urinary tract infections
- Vomiting and dehydration
A Final Note
If your condition is not considered an emergency, it is recommended that you first reach out to your primary care physician. Your personal doctor will have the best understanding of your health history, putting him or her in a far better position to effectively diagnose and treat your symptoms. If you are unable to schedule a timely appointment with your doctor, Monroe Urgent Care is an excellent alternative for top-of-the-line medical care.