Primary and urgent care are two vital pillars of medical care. Not familiar with these two crucial resources? It's time to explore their ins and outs and which one is best for different situations.
While they can be similar in more ways than one, some nuances and differences can help you decide which to choose.
Primary Care vs. Urgent Care
While both services address similar conditions, ailments, and illnesses, they serve different scenarios and medical situations.
First, what is urgent care?
What Is Urgent Care?
Urgent care is there for you in a non-life-threatening medical situation.
With primary care providers, you'll need to make an appointment. You can't wait days or weeks to see your doctor in an emergency.
However, with urgent care, you can walk into a clinic and treat your condition at a moment's notice.
At WestsideMed, urgent care doctors in Atlanta offer patients quick and easy medical visits. Have injuries and need an x-ray? Or do you simply need rapid COVID-19 testing? Urgent care can provide quick results.
Urgent care clinics in Atlanta allow patients to receive care for minor medical emergencies, freeing up hospital emergency rooms for more severe conditions.
According to a 2021 study of urgent cares by ZIP codes in various states, researchers Lindsay Allen, Janet R Cummings, and Jason M Hockenberry concluded:
"During the hours they are open, urgent care centers appear to be treating patients who otherwise would have visited the [emergency room]. This suggests that urgent care centers have the potential to reduce health care expenditures..."
In short, urgent cares help patients save time and money and experience comprehensive medical care when they need it most. Plus, they can be the first step in diagnosing and treating severe health conditions.
When Should I Go To Urgent Care?
Going to an urgent care clinic is essential if you can't make an appointment with your family doctor.
Here are some conditions that you can address at an urgent care in Atlanta.
- Asthma attack
- Sports injuries like strains and fractures
- Skin rashes
- Wound care
To sum up, urgent care is for non-life-threatening injuries and conditions for which you can't readily get medical treatment.
At WestsideMed, you can walk in and receive quality care from our group of medical providers.
If you are experiencing a life-threatening medical emergency, visiting a hospital emergency room instead is vital—call 911 in these emergency situations.
For urgent care visits, simply bring your ID, insurance information, and other information like current medication regimens and medical conditions.
What Is Primary Care?
When you or a family member experiences illness or injury, chances are you'll visit a primary care provider (PCP) or your family doctor.
This doctor knows your medical history and helps you tackle long-term medical problems.
As such, building a strong relationship with a primary care provider helps you achieve healthy, long-term goals. For example, primary care providers can help patients with chronic condition management.
You'll likely see your PCP over several years, with your provider acting as an important medical resource. Primary care providers help take the info gleaned by urgent care specialists and help personalize your healthcare experience.
Likewise, primary care providers can refer you to medical specialists if needed.
Common Primary Care Services
Here are some typical responsibilities of a PCP.
- Diagnose both acute and chronic illnesses
- Build treatment plans
- Update your vaccination status
- Refer patients to medical specialists
- Refill prescriptions
You should try to make a yearly appointment with your primary care provider for annual physicals, flu shots, and more to maintain your health.
Primary and Urgent Care In Atlanta: Look After Your Health With WestsideMed
At WestsideMed, you don't have to decide between primary and urgent care in Atlanta, as you can receive both here.
With staff well-versed in both modes of care, patients can reliably address, diagnose, and treat ailments and illnesses.
Doctors at WestsideMed can also refer patients to specialists if their conditions need a more direct approach.
To get in contact with experts at WestsideMed, call 217-269-8205 or chat with someone to answer any questions you may have.
Don't put off pressing health issues. Walk in or contact us today!