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Knowing When to Choose the ER or Urgent Care - KOAM TV 7

Knowing When to Choose the ER or Urgent Care

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

Medical emergencies can cause panic, making it difficult to determine where to go for treatment. Freeman officials help break down the options so that community members can get the best care in an emergency.
Connie Moore says she’s lucky she doesn't require too much medical care. But she also says she’s curious, which is why she’s attending the Freeman event on the different treatment options available in the area.
“In case I ever should need one, or maybe a family member would need some,” says Moore.
Dozens listen in as health care officials go through the symptoms that should bring you to the emergency room.
“Chest pain, altered mental status where you have possibly neuro changes, complex medical conditions or a complicated medical history,” says Bob Denton,
Freeman Emergency/Trauma Services Director.
And those that can be treated at an urgent care center
“Bronchitis, sinus infection, poison ivy, minor lacerations, things that can't really wait until the next day but you can't get in to your doctor,” says Kayla Martinez,
Freeman Urgent Care Director.

Martinez says wait times will likely be shorter in urgent care and it will cost less than going to the emergency room. If a person can't be treated there, they'll be transferred to the hospital, which happens in about 3 percent of cases. It may come with a longer wait and bigger bill, but the emergency room provides care around the clock.
“We’re providing a comprehensive medical and surgical services, on call crews and a lot of technology that’s available 24/7,” says Denton.
Moore makes her health a priority and should she need treatment, she appreciates having options.
“Like they said, if you can't see your doctor for three weeks, I’m either going to be cured or dead in 3 weeks so I don’t want to wait,” she jokes.
Urgent care centers have not cut down on the number of people treated in the emergency room but more people have sought medical treatment, something Freeman officials say shows there is a lack of primary care physicians in the area.

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