When should you go to urgent care?

When you aren’t feeling well, it can be difficult to know what you should do. Should you head to the emergency room? Urgent care? Make an appointment with your doctor? Or just go back to bed? It can be a tough decision – here are some tips that may help you decide. 

When to go to the emergency room

Of course, if something just doesn’t feel right and you feel like you should go to the emergency room, then you should definitely head there, or even call 911. Other signs that you should head to the emergency room are: difficulty breathing, chest pain (especially on the left side), weakness or numbness on one side, a serious burn, vaginal bleeding when you are pregnant, severe vomiting or diarrhea, head or eye injury, and seizures. 

When to go to urgent care

If your issue is not life threatening but you can’t wait to get in to see your doctor, urgent care may be a good choice. Urgent care is a good option for things like sprains, ear aches, painful urination, deep cuts that might need stitches, abdominal pain, and flu-like symptoms that are only moderate but don’t seem to be responding to home treatment. 

When to see your doctor

If your problem is something that you deal with all the time, such as a urinary tract infection, you might want to see if you can get an appointment with your doctor, because he or she knows your history and has a complete record of what has been tried in the past to treat you. If you can wait until your doctor can fit you in, that also means you don’t have to sit in the waiting room of the ER or urgent care until they call you in (sitting in the waiting room is not the most pleasant thing to do when you don’t feel well!).  

If you have a medical problem that isn’t serious enough for the emergency room but is bad enough that you can’t wait for a doctor’s appointment, a visit to urgent care may be the answer. Katayoun Motlagh, MD, provides walk-in urgent care – contact the Palmdale office today at (661) 947-6400.


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