Typically clinics can be found inside of stores or pharmacies, like the Minute Clinic at CVS. Clinics are great for simple health issues such as earaches, colds, coughs, strep throat, flu shots, etc. They are usually staffed by Nurse Practitioners or Physician Assistants making them an economical option for your more routine health care needs.
These clinics are generally required to have a doctor on-site. This allows them to treat a wider variety of injuries and illnesses such as upper respiratory infections, minor burns, sprains, cuts, and rashes. Simple lab tests and x-rays can often be done, but urgent care clinics should not be used for chronic conditions or emergency situations.
An emergency room should be used for life-threatening or serious situations that may require a specialist or advanced testing. These situations may include heart attacks, strokes, serious injuries, extensive burns, or loss of consciousness. ER visits are generally the most expensive option, so it is best to save for extreme circumstances only.
Talk to a Nurse, 24 hours a day.
Questions about a medicine that you are taking or symptoms you might be experiencing can come up at all hours of the day and night. It is nice to have a quick response to your healthcare questions. That's why we offer MyNurse 24/7, a toll-free nurse help line for non-emergency situations. This free benefit allows members to speak with experienced, knowledgeable nurses about specific health concerns. Nurses will answer your questions with sound, clinically based information. Since they are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year, you can have peace of mind when it comes to getting the answers you need. Call anytime at 1-800-931-4714.
What should I do in case of an emergency while outside of my service area?
If you are traveling and an emergency occurs, contact the nearest emergency service. It is a good idea to discuss with your doctor what to do in the event of an urgent medical situation before it happens. Being prepared and having information about existing healthcare conditions and any medications currently being taken is important. This information will assist the emergency healthcare providers in their choice of treatment options and can improve your likelihood for a healthy outcome.