Do you know where to go and what to do if you feel sick? You may not be aware of other care options besides the emergency room. Learn about them here.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of UnitedHealthcare. All opinions are 100% mine.
On the day before his third birthday, my eldest woke up walking with a limp. He didn’t seem to be in pain, but seeing him walk unevenly was alarming to my husband and me. We’d never had to deal with any medical issues other than his routine checkups.
On the advice of his pediatrician, we took him to the nearby urgent care. The doctor determined no bones were broken and that he had stepped on something that was causing the limp. By his birthday the next day, the limp was gone. Phew!
But for many people, any ailment and they head straight to the emergency room. They end up spending time and money on a service that may be handled elsewhere for much cheaper. ERs everywhere see people coming in even for ailments like a common cold or a sprained ankle.
What to do if you feel sick
I can understand why people would make the ER the first place to go. we often don’t want to chance or risk ailments getting worse, or we assume it’s our only option.
But there are more resources people may not know about, besides the ER. Here are just a few, in order from least to most expensive.
Before we dive into each one, take the Quick Care Quiz to help you figure out which option is best. Plus, in taking the quiz, you can win a $100 Amazon gift card!
Then, come back to the blog and let me know you completed the quiz by checking it off here.
#1: Nurse line
A nurse line is a phone number you can call to talk to a registered nurse. They’re available 24/7 and can help you with health or medication information. They’ll also find you a doctor or hospital and talk you through treatment options.
#2: Virtual visit
A virtual visit allows you to contact a doctor 24/7 online from your home. This is ideal for routine issues like pinkeye, seasonal allergies, fever or rash.
#3: Primary care doctor
Go to your doctor for routine or preventive care such as for immunizations, checkups and general health management. You should also try to visit your primary care doctor before considering options 4 or 5.
#4: Convenience care clinic
If you have a minor medical problem and your primary care doctor isn’t available, a convenience care clinic can be your next option. You might go here for help with minor cuts, strep throat, flu shots or earaches.
#5: Urgent care center
Go to your urgent care center if you need care quickly, but it’s not an emergency, and if your primary care doctor isn’t available. You might drop in for sprains and strains, minor broken bones (like a broken finger), minor infections or minor burns.
#6: Emergency room
Head straight to the emergency room if you have a serious or life-threatening condition. You’ll want to call 911 or drop in to your nearest emergency room for things like heavy bleeding, chest pain, shortness of breath or major burns.
3 tips for your next doctor’s visit
Now that you know where to go if you feel sick, below are 3 best practices for your next doctor’s visit:
- Bring your health plan ID card. You may not always go to your primary care doctor, whose office already has your information. You might even find yourself in a new clinic or hospital, so it’s best to keep your health plan ID card with you when you go.
- Make a list. Write all your questions and concerns so that when you speak to a care provider, you won’t forget important details. Also include things like dates when symptoms happen and any medications you may be using.
- Bring someone. Having another person with you not only provides moral support, but can be the advocate you need. When you don’t feel well, it’s helpful to have someone to discuss important issues and remember instructions.
$100 Amazon gift card giveaway
UnitedHealthcare wants everyone to know their options, including where to go if you feel sick. You don’t always have to go to the emergency room—you have other choices for the exact care you need.
They’re also giving a $100 Amazon gift card to one SSBE reader! Entering the giveaway is easy: Simply take the Quick Care Quiz about the six care options you learned above.
Then, come back to the blog and let me know you completed the quiz by checking it off here. See official rules below.