PENSACOLA, Fla. (WALA) - You know urgent care clinics are out there, but do you know when you should go to the emergency room, and when you could just go to an urgent care clinic instead? Do you know when it may be more beneficial to visit an urgent care clinic instead of your primary care physician? It depends on your symptoms, and you may be surprised to know that your treatment time and how much your doctor's visit costs you are affected by the facility you choose.
Tracy Redmond, a Nurse Practitioner with Baptist Medical Group, says chest pains, severe shortness of breath, stroke, severe bleeding, trauma, head injuries, and loss of consciousness are all reasons to go to the emergency room. But if you have minor symptoms, you're better off seeing your primary care doctor, or going to an urgent care clinic. According to Redmond, such minor symptoms include sore throat, cough, colds, ear infections, UTIs, sprains, lacerations that might require stitches or glue, and mild asthma.
If you're dealing with those symptoms and you can't get an appointment with your primary care physician right away, that's when you may want to go to an urgent care clinic.
"No appointments are needed. You can just walk in. It's definitely more efficient than using the ER for something like that. Traditionally we can get patients in and out in just under two hours where is an average ER visit is going to run depending on what the condition is, anywhere from 6-8 hours. And if it's something you're coming in for that doesn't really need to be in the ER you're going to get bumped down", says Redmond.
Redmond also says using an urgent care facility could save you money.
"If you have a primary care physician and you can get in to see that physician for your healthcare needs, that is going to be the most cost effective method. But second best would be the urgent care because the fees are lower, your co-pay is lower, versus ER setting", she says.
So before you make a trip to the emergency room or your doctor's office, keep those things in mind because you might be better off visiting your closest urgent care.
Baptist Medical Park Nine Mile
9400 University Pkwy. Suite 101
Pensacola, FL 32514
Phone: (850) 208-6130
State Rep. Alvin Holmes of Montgomery says he's been criticized by a former Alabama State University trustee and others because he refused a request to help turn an investigation of the university into a racial fight.
Things Stay Warm, Humid, and Foggy for the Rest of the Week but Cooler Air Returns this Weekend...
You have a chance to play Santa this year and make Christmas brighter for some very special children. All you need to do is go shopping!
The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office says a fire in Irvington, Ala is not the result of a meth lab explosion as first thought.
A new report says Alabama's HIV and AIDS rate has dropped slightly. But it's not all good news, the report also says the number of two other STDs have gone up.