When illness or injury occurs, it’s sometimes difficult to determine where to find the right treatment — should you go to the emergency room or an urgent care center?
The biggest question to ask yourself is how quickly do you need care? If you or a loved one could die or be permanently disabled, it is an emergency. If it is something you want to be checked out, but you aren’t in immediate danger, go to the urgent care center.
When to Use Urgent Care
Urgent care centers are perfect for most non-emergency situations. They’re also ideal if something happens outside of normal business hours of 9 to 5 when most doctors’ offices are typically closed. My Doc offices in Garfield, NJ are open 8-8, M-F and 8-6 on Saturdays, and 9-5 on Sundays. Note: Always check the location hours before you go to any urgent care.
Why use Urgent Care?
• Urgent care or walk-in clinics help fill a vital gap when you become sick or injured, but your regular doctor is not available, and you can’t wait for an appointment.
• Affordable: Urgent care is much more affordable. An ambulance ride to an ER can cost around $1,200 or more!
• Convenient: Urgent care can be found in nearby locations like shopping centers and commercial plazas.
• Save time: 84% of urgent care patients are in and out within an hour.
The kinds of problems an urgent care clinic can deal with include:
• Common illnesses, such as colds, the flu, earaches, sore throats, migraines, low-grade fevers, and limited rashes
• Minor injuries, such as sprains, back pain, minor cuts and burns, minor broken bones, or minor eye injuries
When you visit urgent care remember to bring your:
• Driver’s license or photo ID
• Insurance information payment for co-pay or self-pay
• List of medications, allergies, and past surgeries
• Parental Authorization Form (for minor without a parent present)
When to Use The Emergency Room
Emergency rooms are perfect for emergency situations. If you have a life-threatening condition, go straight to your nearest ER.
Symptoms that are best evaluated in an emergency room include:
• Chest pain or difficulty breathing
• Weakness/numbness on one side
• Slurred speech
• Fainting/change in mental state
• Serious burns
• Head or eye injury
• Broken bones and dislocated joints
• Fever with a rash
• Severe cuts that may require stitches
• Facial lacerations
• Severe cold or flu symptoms
• Vaginal bleeding with pregnancy
• Coughing up blood
• Suicidal thoughts
• High fever with headache and stiff neck
• Serious burns
• Throwing up or loose stools that do not stop
When to call 911
Even if it is clear that you or your loved one needs emergency care, you may be unsure whether to drive yourself or call 911.
You should never drive yourself if you are having severe chest pain or severe bleeding, or if you feel like you might faint, or if your vision is impaired. When in doubt, call 911.
When you should call 911:
• Severe shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Any symptoms of a heart attack, including chest pain, pain in the left arm or jaw, and sudden weakness or dizziness
• Signs of a stroke such as slurred speech, severe headache, weakness or numbness on one side of the face or body, or loss of consciousness
• Life-or-limb-threatening injury
• Poisoning or drug overdose
• Severe allergic reaction with trouble breathing, swelling, hives
Tip: For any of these situations, keep a list of any allergies (including medication allergies) and any previous medical procedures or surgeries you’ve had.
If you are looking for a great local urgent care check out My Doc Urgent Care in Garfield, NJ.
210 Passaic Street
Garfield, NJ 07026