Polk County Medical Coor. Center Urges Community to Use Emergency Departments Appropriately

Published 6/22/2023 2:54:55 PM

May 26, 2034

Polk County emergency departments (ED) remain busy. As we head into summer months and summer traumas, we urge the community to use our health care resources appropriately, so those with life-threatening conditions can be seen right away.

By going to an urgent care or walk-in clinic, this can save patients time and money. There are options outside of EDs during off-hours (6:00 PM – 8:00 AM).

When to Visit an Emergency Department:

  • Chest pain or heart attack symptoms
  • Sudden or severe head pain
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Poisoning, difficulty breathing or excessive bleeding
  • Broken bones
  • For serious limb or life-threatening emergencies, call 911 or go to an ED

When to Visit an Urgent Care OR Walk-In Clinic:

  • Sore throat
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Colds, Flu or COVID-19 symptoms
  • Sprains and bone fractures, minor cuts and burns or when minor stitches are needed
  • Back pain or ear pain
  • Insect bites or rashes

When to Go to a Behavioral Health Urgent Care:

  • Non-life threatening mental health and addiction issues

Virtual Care and Telehealth Can Be an Alternative to Urgent Care

  • Cold, cough, flu, fever, rash, sinuses
  • Headache, migraine, urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Poison ivy, rashes, pink eye

When to See Your Primary Care Provider:

  • Minor medical problems and injuries that can wait
  • Disease management
  • Medicine checks
  • Vaccinations, yearly checkups, family health history concerns, etc.

Each healthcare clinic in Polk County strives to provide the best care possible for the community. We continually work to ensure we can provide the care needed.