When do I need urgent care?

Urgent care is quick treatment and relief designed to fill the gap between long-term treatment performed by a primary care physician and acute care provided by the Emergency Room on the other end. It's not something you want to schedule an appointment for but it's also not a life or death emergency.

When do I need to go straight to the ER?

If you think it's an emergency, it probably is. For all life threatening injuries or problems you should go directly to nearest Emergency Room. A few examples would be: new onset of weakness to an extremity, difficulty with speech, severe chest pain, severe shortness of breath, severe allergic reactions.

Do I need to come to clinic to be evaluated for my symptoms?

Use the 3 P’s:

Progressive symptoms: are the symptoms PROGRESSIVELY getting worse and not better

Persistent symptoms: are the symptoms PERSISTING longer than you think they should or having a PERSISTENT fever

Performance: are the symptoms interfering with the PERFORMANCE of your daily activities

If you have any of the P’s, or if you are concerned at all with your symptoms you should be seen by a medical professional.

Is it a sprain or a fracture (broken bone)?

There are several tests that can be performed by a medical professional on exam that can help determine the nature of the injury; however, sometimes the only way to tell is to have an X-ray performed on the affected area.

Do I need antibiotics?

The only way to determine whether antibiotics are indicated for an illness or problem is to have an examination by a medical professional. Many diseases or processes do not require antibiotic treatment, but often times medications can be prescribed to help ease the symptoms and speed recovery.

When do I need a tetanus shot?

Every 10 years you should have a tetanus booster. However, if a wound is deep or has been been contaminated by soil or dirt you will need a tetanus booster if you have not had one in the last 5 years.

Do I need stitches?

Stitches are not alway needed for a cut or laceration. There are several ways to close a cut : stitches, butterfly bandages, skin adhesive or a combination of these. The wound would need to be evaluated by a medical professional to determine the best mode of closure.

Who needs a flu shot?

Most health professionals recommend that everyone should receive the seasonal flu vaccine. A better question is who should not and that would include those with: severe allergy to a previous a previous flu vaccine, a severe allergy to eggs, any person with a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome, or anyone with a current moderate to severe illness with a fever (vaccination should be deferred until well).