If you can, speak with your primary care doctor first for the best advice. But if it’s after hours or the weekend, you might traditionally go to your local emergency department for treatment and care. Now you have more choices.
If you have a true emergency, like signs of a heart attack or stroke, or a serious cut or injury, you should call 9-1-1 or go immediately to the closest emergency department. But when an injury or illness is less serious, you have some new local options, including two UMass Memorial Health Care-affiliated CareWell Urgent Care sites. These state-of the art urgent care centers are opening July 15 at 348 Greenwood Street and 500 Lincoln Street in Worcester, offering convenient, low cost medical care for you and your family.
What are Urgent Care Centers?
- Typically staffed by board-certified physicians, registered nurses and/or medical personnel specially trained in care for all age groups, urgent care centers aren’t intended to provide emergency care.
- Urgent care centers provide medical care for conditions that aren’t an immediate or a serious threat to life or health.
- They can be a good option in the evenings or on weekends when you or your child’s doctor may not be in the office.
- Wait times are much shorter than those of emergency rooms.
- The costs are far less.
When Should You Go to the Urgent Care?
The best practice is to call your primary care doctor first. They know you and your medical history, and can provide the best advice on care. However, if you are unable to contact your doctor, and have a condition that requires treatment, you should go to an urgent care center. View our infographic.
Urgent care is ideal for treating conditions such as:
- Cold, flu and other Illnesses
- Allergic reactions
- Children’s illnesses and injuries
- Puncture wounds/infections
- Sports injuries/sprains/strains
- Strep throat/pink eye
- Vaccinations and health screenings
- Routine physical exams and sports physicals
- Occupational medicine
- Travel care
Making a Decision
Serious, life-threatening injuries or conditions are medical emergencies and should be treated in a hospital emergency department. For less urgent problems, talk with your primary care provider about the urgent care services he or she recommends, and how to secure a referral, if needed. It’s also recommended that you check your health insurance benefits.