Avera Medical Minute: Clinic, Urgent Care or the Emergency Room?

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 10:52 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - When you need medical care knowing the right place to go for treatment can get you the best level of care.

In tonight’s Medical Minute, we show you the difference between clinics, Urgent Care, the E-R.

“Pandemic continues to progress for sure with the recent Delta variant impacting they’re seeing rising case counts, increasing hospitalizations, all this has made it more important to prioritize that we see patients in the right place at the right time,” said Dr. Kevin Post.

When you need medical attention, Avera Dr. Kevin Post says there are many options.

“Your primary care clinic, your urgent care or after-hours clinic, and then the emergency room,” said Post.

Avera Registered Nurse Katie Kruger says your primary care doctor can help with the non-emergent symptoms.

“They take care of, you know, everything from headaches to sinus infections, ear infections mild fevers,” Kruger said.

But an illness doesn’t always happen during regular business hours. That’s where Urgent Care comes in. Think of your after-hours or Urgent Care clinic almost like an extension of your primary care clinic but just later hours during the day. So things such as minor illnesses minor respiratory complaints, minor cuts, etc like that normally you would go to the clinic floor is where you would access Urgent Care.

Avera Nurse Manager Denise Haisch says the Emergency Room is best left for serious health concerns.

“Those life-threatening conditions shortness of breath, chest pain, that really need our attention in the emergency department... those critical patients that they prefer to send to the emergency room because we have a higher level of care and medications that we could use to treat those patients as the need would arise,” said Haisch.

Of course, if you aren’t sure which place is best for you, the Avera Call Center is as close as your phone.

“And they can direct you in the right direction based on your symptoms,” adds Haisch.

“That’s why it’s so important to me that this is going the right places because we really believe to give the best outcomes to our patients we want to see them in the right place at the right time.” Post said.

If you think you may have COVID, calling first can eliminate an extra trip with a direct referral to the drive-thru testing clinic. Talk to a nurse at the Avera Medical Call Center AT 877-282-8372.

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