How Can I Find Urgent Care Near Me?
If you do not have a family doctor or are unable to go to a regular family practice office, an urgent care clinic may be a good choice for you. If you are looking for urgent care centres in British Columbia, here some answers which may help guide you.
What is urgent care?
Urgent care is a type of clinic that provides basic medical care to people who do not have a family doctor or are unable to go to a family doctor. They cover acute concerns that do not require immediate, emergency care. Walk-in clinics are not meant for emergency medical treatment of serious illnesses or injuries. Urgent care clinics are also not meant to replace your family physician, because the best kind of care is longitudinal, not periodic.
Where can I find urgent care near me?
Urgent care clinics tend to be found in populated and rural areas around British Columbia. Our government has been widening access to care. You can use Google or Google Maps to help you locate an urgent primary care centre (UPCC) near you. Some urgent care centres are also capable of providing primary care. Additionally, there are websites available that list local urgent care centres, such as Divisions of Family Practice. A full list of Urgent Care Centres can also be found here, at HealthLink BC. Another option is to use a virtual walk-in clinic and schedule a telehealth appointment.
What medical concerns can be addressed at urgent care?
Urgent care clinics provide individuals with basic medical care for issues requiring prompt attention. Some examples of medical concerns that you may visit an urgent care centre for include:
- Cuts and bruises
- Non-emergent bleeding problems
- Semi-urgent minor procedures
- Minor infections
They can also assist with items such as doctor’s notes, or medical imaging requisition forms.
What is a family practice office and how is it different from urgent care?
A family practice provides regular care over a long period of time. Urgent care usually provides periodic, episodic care. A family doctor usually knows your personal history and medical conditions, while urgent care doctors may not be familiar with your history. At a family practice, you tend to see the same doctor regularly, but at urgent care, you will likely see different medical practitioners (doctor, nurse practitioner, registered nurse, etc.) each time you go.
When should I go to an emergency department?
Emergency department visits are necessary in life-threatening situations. In other words, you should go to an emergency room if you need serious medical attention. This includes concerns such as:
- Chest pain and/or heart palpitations
- Worsening abdominal pain
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- Numbness, weakness, dizziness, or neurological changes in your body
- Sudden changes in vision or eye pain
- Sudden leg swelling
- Any concern you feel requires emergency attention
Emergency Departments are generally open 24/7 across British Columbia.
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