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Deciding Between Primary Care and Urgent Care
Sometimes, when you need medical help for an injury or illness, it can be difficult to choose between urgent care and primary care. Most times deciding between them is a matter of timing. Knowing the differences between primary care and urgent care can help you decide the right option for you. Read on to learn more about emergency rooms for urgent care and primary care providers.
Primary care vs. urgent care
When people need medical attention, they have several options to choose from in terms of where to get care. Many people often decide to visit primary care doctors for their annual physicals, immunizations, seasonal illnesses and infections. However, there are circumstances when visiting an emergency room for urgent care services for any of these services and problems is often recommended. Here are some of the similarities and differences between urgent care and primary care.
It is always recommended for a person to have a steady care provider. This is convenient for managing long-term medications, supporting chronic conditions, illnesses and pain and maintaining medical records. Primary care is generally ideal for illness or chronic condition management. A primary care doctor can also assess the urgency and seriousness of medical problems and direct a patient to another health care provider when necessary.
Primary care doctors play an important part in the long-term health of their patients. A doctor knows a patient’s medical history and the conditions a person has suffered from. Access to a person’s medical records is beneficial when diagnosing and treating a patient. It is also important when managing certain conditions.
Emergency rooms for urgent care
Emergency rooms for urgent care services provide access to quality healthcare when the primary doctor’s office is closed or the schedule is full. Emergency rooms usually handle the same conditions as a primary doctor’s clinic. These facilities are equipped to diagnose and treat a variety of non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses. A person can opt for urgent care for the treatment of many medical problems such as minor injuries that do not involve much blood but need stitches or for breathing difficulties like mild to moderate asthma. Patients can also visit them if they need basic shots. The centers often offer diagnostic services such as X-rays and laboratory tests.
Emergency rooms for urgent care can support patients going through urgent medical conditions. These are conditions that are not life-threatening but require care within 24 hours. They can also help patients who cannot wait for an appointment with a primary care doctor. Urgent care clinics usually open for longer hours than primary clinics. The facilities accept unscheduled walk-in patients seeking medical care. Many also accept appointments and allow patients to get medical attention on the same day.
Urgent care is a good option when you are injured or sick and your primary care doctor is not available. Emergency rooms can allow you to get high-quality medical care right when you need it. However, emergency rooms for urgent care should not be a replacement for a primary care provider. Going to your primary doctor is recommended especially if you need a doctor who can help you manage your long-term health.
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