Where to Turn When You Have an Urgent Healthcare Issue

words Al Woods

When you’re dealing with a healthcare emergency, it’s important to know where to turn for help because you do not have much time before a condition or situation might be made worse.

Here are some places you can go when you are seeking nearby urgent care.

Urgent Healthcare


If you have a life-threatening emergency, the first place you should go is the hospital. In most cases, your local hospital will have an emergency room that’s open 24/7. If you’re not sure which hospital to go to, you can call 911 and they will direct you to the nearest one.

Typical treatments needing urgent care in a hospital environment include:

  • Heart attack

If you think you are having a heart attack, call 9-1-1 immediately. Symptoms of a heart attack can include chest pain or pressure, shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.

  • Stroke

A stroke is one of the most serious health conditions that will come on suddenly. A stroke happens when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, which can cause cell death in the surrounding tissue. Symptoms can vary depending on which part of the brain is affected, but typically include sudden numbness or weakness in one arm or leg, difficulty speaking or understanding speech, and severe headache. If you think someone is having a stroke, call 9-1-1 right away.

Heart attacks and strokes are just two examples of urgent healthcare issues that require immediate medical attention. If you have any other symptoms that are causing you concern, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and seek medical help.

Other more urgent medical conditions include:

  • Appendicitis

If you’re experiencing abdominal pain, especially in the lower right area, it could be a sign of appendicitis. This is a serious healthcare issue that requires immediate attention, so don’t wait to seek help. There are several places you can turn for urgent healthcare if you’re experiencing these symptoms.

  • Acute pancreatitis

Acute pancreatitis is a sudden and severe inflammation of the pancreas. The most common symptoms are a pain in the upper abdomen and vomiting. Pancreatitis can be a life-threatening condition, so it’s important to seek urgent medical care if you think you might have it.

  • Pulmonary embolism

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a condition in which a blood clot (thrombus) breaks off from a vein in the body and travels to the lungs. PE can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing, and sudden death.

Bear in mind that with symptoms you may not experience all of them at once.

Urgent Care Center

If you have a less serious emergency, you can go to an urgent care center. These centers are usually open late and on weekends, and they offer a wide range of services. You may be able to find an urgent care center in your area by searching online or calling your insurance company.

Primary Care Physician

If you have a non-emergency medical issue, you can visit your primary care physician. These doctors can provide a variety of services, including diagnosing and treating illnesses, ordering tests, and prescribing medication. You can usually make an appointment with your primary care physician within a few days.


In some cases, you may be able to receive care from a doctor without leaving your home. Telemedicine is a growing field that allows patients to consult with doctors via video chat or over the phone. This can be a convenient option if you’re dealing with a minor issue or you’re unable to leave your home.

There are a variety of healthcare options available when you have an urgent healthcare issue. If you have a life-threatening emergency, you should go to the nearest hospital. For less serious emergencies, you can visit an urgent care center. If you have a non-emergency medical issue, you can schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. You may also be able to receive care from a doctor via telemedicine.


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