Know Where to Go

A doctor examines the neck of a young girl at a BayCare Urgent Care Center.Did you take a fall, a tumble, a spill or maybe a split? Does something hurt? Is it cut, bleeding, burning, swollen or tender? Is your doctor’s office closed for the day or can’t fit you in until tomorrow? When you or someone you know gets hurt it might be difficult to know where to seek treatment. While your first instinct might be to head to your closest emergency room, you might be able to get quality care from an online doctor or at a neighborhood urgent care center.

When to Have a Virtual Visit

Sometimes you need care right away. Telemedicine is sweeping this high-tech nation. Having a video conference with a doctor is the latest in medicine. BayCare is part of this growing trend. BayCareAnywhere™ gives you 24/7 access to an online doctor, 365 days a year. Our online doctors are specially trained on the technical platform and board-certified to diagnose colds, flu, fever, rash, various eye infections, sinus infections, migraines and much more. By using your smartphone, tablet or computer, the online doctor will diagnose, and in some cases treat your illness. If a prescription is needed, the doctor can digital submit it to your preferred pharmacy*.

*Please note that not all BayCareAnywhere visits will result in a prescription order.

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When to Visit an Urgent Care Center

Why do accidents always seem to happen on weekends or after office hours? Because they can, and because they do, urgent care centers might be the best possible solution for a minor illness or injury.  Examples would be upper respiratory conditions, urinary tract infections, nausea/vomiting, cuts and sprains. Urgent care centers are equipped to treat a variety of conditions and injuries with on-site lab and radiology services. Expert medical care from highly trained providers are able to repair lacerations and remove foreign bodies. You will typically receive care quicker and at a lower cost than at an ER.

Urgent care centers offer expert medical care from a group of highly trained and friendly providers. Urgent care centers will also keep your costs lower than an emergency room and discounted prices are available for self-pay patients. Go to an urgent care center for:

  • Animal or insect bites
  • Ear pain or infections
  • Flu/cold/minor illness
  • Minor cuts and burns
  • Strains and sprains
  • Sutures or stitches
  • Urinary tract infections

BayCare Urgent Care is affiliated with BayCare hospitals. You can make an online reservation at BayCare Urgent Care with Save Your Spot™. Learn more about BayCare Urgent Care services.

When to Visit an ER

On the other hand, there are some situations that require a visit to the emergency room (ER), like a life-threatening and complex illness or injury. While an ER might require a longer wait and would have a greater out-of-pocket expense, symptoms like chest pain, fainting, loss of vision, shortness of breath or severe abdominal pain require an ER visit. These facilities are open 24/7 and have all the capabilities to handle any type of medical situation. 

If you feel you need emergency care, call 9-1-1 or find a BayCare ER near you

Calling 9-1-1 for chest pain, difficulty breathing or other potential life threatening issues is recommended. Some examples of illnesses or injuries that should be evaluated in an emergency room are:

  • Broken bones
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting, dizziness or weakness
  • High fever
  • Ingestion of poison or medical overdose
  • Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Symptoms of heart attack or stroke

There are many reasons to seek emergency care at an emergency room or urgent care facility. The difference between emergency care and urgent care is the severity of your condition. So, for the occasional trip, boo-boo, slip or good idea gone bad remain calm and think about the severity of your condition.