Depending on the type of attention needed, there is often a question of whether to go to the emergency room or to see our primary care physician. There is, according to one study, a doctor shortage: the U.S. needs about 52,000 more primary care physicians by 2025 to meet our healthcare needs. In addition, Electrical Contractor magazine reported that in 2014, healthcare construction market lessened in 2014 by approximately 7 percent. Needless to say, emergency rooms are a bit more crowded than ever, with wait times longer than usual. While the medical construction industry was projected to see a renewed stability, that remains to be seen. Meanwhile, smaller facilities, such as a community health clinic or medical walk in clinic, are becoming more cost effective and common. Nevertheless, when your health is at stake, the decision of which facility will best treat your situation can be a difficult one.
These questions are especially relevant to those who may have little or no health coverage, particularly families. Children and the elderly tend to get sick more often, and may have a lot of emergency needs arise. Whether or not proof of insurance is required for treatment may be a deciding factor for some. In any case, the general guidelines to use in making the decision between the ER and an after hours urgent care or walk in health clinic. If you have a non-urgent condition, such as broken bones, flu, or mild allergic reactions, go to a clinic. If you have an urgent or extreme condition, such as a heart attack or severe burns, go straight to the ER, preferably via ambulance.
What about something like family planning or personal care, such as pregnancy or STD testing kits? In those cases, it depends on the extent of the symptoms. Left untreated, perhaps out of a lack of knowledge or a sense of embarrassment, STD symptoms could advance in a way that sends one to the ER, although a community health clinic can also provide confidential STD testing. Publicly funded clinics are an essential component of the nation?s health care, and will remain so. Although there is great room for improvement in all health care frontiers, the prevalence of primary care physicians, urgent care facilities, and emergency rooms, there?s a way for just about everyone to get the care they need.
An option for those concerned about personal sexual health is STD testing kits. STD testing kits cover a panel of potential STDs, usually including chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, hepatitis B, syphilis, and others. Speak to a doctor and arrange for a combination that suits your concerns, history, or known exposures. STD testing kits are available in different combinations and methods, from at home STD testing to in-clinic.
Anyone who is sexually active should be tested for STI and STDs. Ask to run STD testing kits for both you and, if applicable, your partner. It?s particularly important to get tested if you?re about to begin a new relationship, you have multiple partners, your partner has cheated on you, or if you have symptoms that concern you.
When you?re worried about something like family planning or STD testing, you don?t want to wait. At most urgent care clinics or neighborhood clinics, the average wait time to see a doctor or physician?s assistant is 45 minutes or less. Keep in mind the old adage, ?the sooner the better.? Taking care of sexual wellness should be a priority. Timeliness and cost are important factors, making your choice of facility a crucial element in personal health.