In healthcare today there are so many different types of offices and settings in which you can seek treatment. All of these offices have areas they specialize in. So understanding the particular services they offer will help expedite your medical treatment. Overall you will have a better experience and quicker service.  This also allows the medical professionals who treat you to work within their specific skill set.

What if My Child is Sick During the Night?

There is no doubt that it is stressful as a parent to have your child wake up in the middle of the night with an earache, high fever, vomiting, or similar symptoms. It will be tempting to make a trip to the emergency room since that is all that is open at that hour. Or would it be better to wait until morning to visit urgent care such as Sometimes those trips to the ER can be necessary? One little known option is to contact a nurse through a nurse line. These nurse lines are often provided to you by your health insurance company. By contacting a nurse through the nurse line, you can find out if your child needs emergency care or if it is ok to wait until morning to seek treatment. This nurse can also advise you of home remedies and over the counter options to help your child stay comfortable until morning. 
So Many Offices… Which One Do I Choose?

When you or your child is sick, it is helpful to have a primary care physician or a pediatrician. They know you from regular treatments or at least have your personal information on file as a patient. Usually, these offices will have room in their schedule to work in a same-day sick visit. It is in your best interest to see someone who already knows you and has an ongoing relationship with you and your family. This will expedite your care as they will need less paperwork and information from you.  For more information on finding a PCP click here.  
What If I Don’t Have a PCP?

If you don’t have a primary care physician or are out of town, you may want to find an urgent care facility such as These facilities treat walk-ins on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis. The wait is typically not long during the daytime hours. These urgent care facilities are open late into the evenings and on weekends as well. They tend to get more overflow patients from people who cannot wait to see their primary care physician. So be prepared to wait a little longer for an evening or weekend visit. An urgent care doctor is prepared to treat adults and children. They offer care for sick visits, minor injuries, and physical examinations that may be required for school or work.  They do however recommend that you go to the emergency room if you have a fracture or more serious injury.  They do not have the equipment and staff to care for these injuries in their office.
What if I Don’t Have Transportation?

There are other options if for some reason you do not have someone to take you to an office visit or feel so sick you do not want to leave your house.  In addition to a nurse line, there are other telehealth professionals available by phone or online E-visit. One option would be  which offers online treatment from a nurse practitioner. Virtuwell services are available for $49/ visit fee or they can charge your insurance and bill your credit card for the copay or remaining charges.

 So as you can see there are many options for receiving convenient and efficient care without going to the emergency room and possibly waiting for hours to be seen. The ER is committed to treating life-threatening illnesses and injuries first despite whether or not you were there first. This can be frustrating and very easily avoided.