Why Urgent Care? The 5 Ws – And 1 H – You Need to Know

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Walk-in urgent care facilities are gaining popularity and popping up on every major highway throughout the state. With variations in names like immediate care, express care and med-express, it’s hard to understand what it means and why urgent care could be the right choice for you.

Here is a simple breakdown of urgent care.

What is Urgent Care?
Urgent care is defined as the delivery of ambulatory medical care outside of a hospital emergency department on a walk-in basis without a scheduled appointment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 40 percent of visits to emergency departments are for non-urgent or semi-urgent problems that are more appropriately treated at an urgent care center.

Who Should Go to Urgent Care?
eMedical Urgent Care sees patients of all ages, from infants to adults and everything in between. Parents magazine recently published an article that painted a negative picture for children visiting urgent care facilities; the physician writing the article recommended that parents make sure that the facilities they visit specialize in treating children. At eMedical Urgent Care, our physicians are board-certified in family practice, emergency medicine or internal medicine, so they are experts in treating pediatric patients. These are the same physicians you would see if you opted to bring your child to the emergency department instead of urgent care, except you won’t have to endure a long wait.

When Should You Go to the Emergency Department?
If you are having crushing chest pain, gasping for breath, or doubled over with abdominal pain, you should call 9-1-1. For incapacitating headaches, difficulties focusing or deforming injuries, such as broken bones or severe cuts, you probably are better served by having someone take you directly the nearest emergency department. Note to the wise: don’t drive yourself if you are not able. That’s why we have first-aid squads and paramedics.

Which Aliments Are Treated at an Urgent Care Center?
A large part of our urgent care practice is the treatment of upper respiratory illnesses such as sore throat, earaches, cough and congestion that are annoying, but not life threatening. We also see a lot of acute skin rashes and urinary infections. We have X-ray capabilities on premises and can suture small skin lacerations. We also conduct sports physicals, flu vaccinations and drug testing.

Why Urgent Care May Be Right for You?
The biggest attraction to urgent care is convenience. eMedical Urgent Care is open seven days a week, 365 days a year. With extended hours, it’s a great alternative if you do not have a primary care physician or when your PCP is not available. No appointment is required, so you can stop in after picking up the children from school or on your way home from work.

Instead of spending four hours in the emergency room; you can come to eMedical Urgent Care and be out in less than an hour.

We participate with a variety of health plans and offer a discount program for those without insurance. And, we work with employers to provide workers’ compensation treatment of urgent care-type injuries.

How is eMedical Urgent Care Different From Other Urgent Care Centers?
At some facilities, such as Minute Clinics, you will be seen by a physician assistant (PA) or nurse practitioner (NP). At eMedical Urgent Care, you always will be seen by a board-certified physician.

Time spent waiting in an emergency room or waiting for an appointment is time that you could spend doing something much more pleasant. Urgent care allows you to be treated for non-life threatening illnesses conveniently. It’s quality care for the entire family for a fraction of the time you would spend in the emergency room.

by Kurt Perry, MD

About Kurt Perry
Kurt Perry, MD, joined eMedical Urgent Care in 1997. He is board-certified in emergency medicine and a 2013 New Jersey Monthly “Top Doctor.”  He completed his residency at Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch, N.J.

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