Everyone occasionally comes down with a cold or sustains minor injuries. It can be hard to decide when you should see a doctor about your symptoms. In all cases, the severity of your problem will determine the appropriate response. Here are four possible steps you can take if you're sick or injured and think you need medical attention.
1. Consult the internet.
The internet contains a wealth of information, and you can use it to your advantage. When you're suffering from unwanted symptoms, looking them up on the internet can help you self-diagnose your condition. There's no substitute for actual medical care, but some illnesses and minor injuries can be adequately treated at home. If your symptoms are not severe and medical literature online suggests that you're fine, you can try home remedies to alleviate the problem first.
2. Make an appointment with your doctor.
If you are experiencing a cold that has not gotten better or minor, persistent pain, you should make an appointment with your primary care physician. Your primary care physician has a rapport with you. They also have access to your medical history, which can inform their treatment. If you can stand to wait a few days to a week to see your doctor, make an appointment with your regular physician.
3. Visit an urgent care center.
If you determine that you aren't in immediate danger, but you still need prompt medical attention, you can make your way to an urgent care center. Urgent care centers are designed to provide assistance to people who need to see a doctor right away for conditions and injuries that are not life-threatening. An urgent care appointment is usually far more inexpensive than a trip to the emergency room. Urgent care doctors can assess your condition, take x-rays and other tests if necessary, and prescribe you any needed medication. They can also provide stitches and other forms of first aid.
4. Go to the emergency room.
In certain cases, you should go to the emergency room immediately. If you get a deep cut that will not stop bleeding, or if you sustain any broken bones that protrude through your skin, you should go to the hospital. You should also go to the hospital if you injure your head, especially if that injury is accompanied by fainting or dizziness. Head to the ER at once if you can't breathe or if you suffer from a severe allergic reaction, as these things can be fatal when left untreated.
For more information, contact a clinic like La Costa Urgent Care.