When it comes to health care, there are various levels of medical care that you can use. There are certain times that you should use the various levels of medical care. So, when should someone go to the various levels of medical care?
1. Primary Care Physician
The first level of medical care is your primary care physician. They should be your first line of medical defense. Your PCP should be the person you see if you have a question about your health, routine physicals, chronic medical conditions, and illnesses like sore throats, flu, and so on.
Your doctor's office will have some space in their schedule to fit in people who need to come in that day for some kind of illness, as well as being able to get you in relatively soon for other things. If you are concerned about something, you can call your doctor's office to see what they suggest you do. For example, they may suggest that you go to see an urgent or express care.
2. Urgent/Express Care
This level of medical care is a step up from seeing your PCP. You don't need to have an appointment to see a doctor at the urgent or express care clinic. The clinic may be at your doctor's office, depending on how big their office is and if they are associated with a larger medical facility. You can go to one of those clinics if you have a medical issue that you want to have seen immediately, that you are very worried about, but isn't bad enough to go to the ER for.
This can include an illness with a spiking fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. It could also be the place you could start at if you have fallen and you think that you have a concussion or other injury. The doctor you see there may decide to send you to the ER if they think that you need more care.
3. Emergency Care
Emergency care is where you need to go if you have broken a bone, had a seizure, think you are having a heart attack, or are going to need to get stitches. The ER is the best place to go if you think that something is very serious and the person may be at risk of death. If it is very serious, you may want to call 911 and get the ambulance to take the person to the hospital so that the EMTs can make sure that the person is stabilized.
Knowing which level of medical care you should go to and when will help you get the appropriate care as soon as possible. Contact a medical office like Peninsula Community Health Services- Medical (Cottonwood) for more information and assistance.