Associates in Family Medicine is not an Urgent Care Facility; however, we do reserve a few time-slots each day for patients who need urgent services. These would be people who have symptoms such as earaches, coughs, aches & pains, etcetera.
In general, urgent care means you have health issues which need to be addressed somewhat quickly (within 24 hours) but not immediately. If it is during normal business hours, call our office to make a same-day appointment. If it is after hours, use your judgment to determine if you wish to wait until our office is open, or if you wish to see an urgent care center with extended business hours, or if you wish to go to the emergency room.
Speed: We recommend that you consider urgent care before going to the emergency room. Urgent care is often quicker compared to that of a busy emergency room where you may be placed at a lower priority compared to someone with a life-or-death situation. Emergency care will almost always service life-threatening situations before they handle non-emergency issues.
Cost: Urgent care usually cost less compared to emergency care. As you might expect, emergency rooms are armed with state of the art machines and specialists whose purpose is to save lives. These services and facilities cost money, thus a trip to the emergency room may hurt your wallet more than if you went to an urgent care facility.
Courtesy: Emergency care is designed for emergency situations such as heart attacks, severe car accidents, or excessive blood loss due to open wounds. Entering an emergency room for minor health issues results in a full waiting room where everyone must wait a little longer before they are attended to.
Examples: When you or a member of your family is sick, it can be difficult to decide whether a condition is “urgent” or “emergency”. Some examples of non-emergency conditions are:
Emergency care is needed when you think a person or unborn baby could die or be permanently disabled if medical help is not provided immediately.
Some situations are clear-cut: loss of limb or body parts, gunshot or knife wounds, unconsciousness, extremely high fever, or excessive vomiting. However, there are many situations where it is unclear whether emergency care is required or not. In these cases, you can call someone to get a second opinion.
Ask Someone: Calling your doctor or a nurse practitioner for advice would be best. Otherwise even talking to a family member, a neighbor, or friend can help put some perspective on the situation.
– Can this wait till the morning?
– Is this as bad as I think it is?
Keep in mind that if you go to the emergency room and your condition is not critical, you will be cared for after they have served those who are in critical condition. Such a trip may result in a 4 or 5-hour wait in the emergency room, a substantial hospital bill, and treatment that is the same as what you would have received from an urgent care facility.
Safety First: On the other hand, if you feel that you need emergency care, then you should proceed to the nearest hospital and seek medical attention. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Sometimes peace of mind is worth paying for.
Examples: Some examples of situations where you would want to call 911 or proceed to emergency care:
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!