What Types of Work Injuries Require Urgent Care?
Urgent care facilities fill an important role in our healthcare system by providing people with access to immediate medical attention for a variety of injuries and illnesses that are serious enough to warrant action today, but not quite traumatic or emergent enough to warrant care in a traditional emergency room. Their in-between nature can make it a little difficult for patients who have never used their services before to know quite when urgent care is the best choice, though, so it is important to understand what they do and how they work.
For the most part, urgent care facilities work for patients who are hurt, but who are ambulatory and stable. What this means is that you want to go to them if you have managed to stop immediate problems, like bleeding, with first aid on the scene. You also want to make sure that you or the patient you are bringing to urgent care can answer questions and communicate effectively with doctors. If someone is hurt badly enough to be dazed or unconscious, or if the injury is so severe that they cannot get themselves in and out of the facility, then chances are that it is not a case for urgent care. Those kinds of symptoms can indicate deeper trauma and ongoing damage, and they need to be referred to a hospital emergency room.
Similarly, you can usually bring a light trauma like a dislocated joint or a simple fracture to be set in an urgent care facility. Compound fractures and other major wounds, especially open ones that cannot be entirely treated with first aid bandages, need the services of a surgical team to intervene, though, so those are, again a little much for your local urgent care. Reserving your emergency room visits for those kinds of major accidents saves you time and money, though, so if you can get to an urgent care and wait because your first aid has the situation stabilized and safe, then it is a great idea to do so.
Last but definitely not least, soft tissue injuries and other accidents that don’t have an easily visible injury are prime candidates for urgent care. The facilities have all the equipment necessary to check you over for more serious underlying issues, including internal bleeding and tendon damage, allowing them to move quickly to treat any hard-to-spot issues before they are complicated by re-injury. This is important because that kind of injury can lead to long-term damage and problems if it goes untreated, but many workers do not view it as worthwhile to check out in an emergency setting. To learn more about an injury care center in San Diego, check out this site.
With over 25 years in the emergency medical industry, Jack Stewart is seeking to share his knowledge of urgent care and preventative medicine with the world. See more of his thoughts at Tumblr blog.
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