The emergency room is absolutely where you should go for life-threatening illnesses or injuries, such as chest pain, head trauma, and other serious conditions.

However, ERs see far too many minor injuries and illnesses – respiratory infections, UTIs, sprains, headaches – which contribute to long wait times and unnecessary patient expense.

In an environment where hospitals and ERs are short staffed and patient emotions are escalated due to long waits, we want to educate you about when to head to the ER and when another option is more appropriate.

Getting the right care at the right place may not mean going to the ER

The ER is absolutely where you should go for a life-threatening illness or injury, such as chest pain, head trauma, and other serious conditions.

However, for minor injuries or illnesses – such as a respiratory infection, UTI, sprain, headache – you have options that provide faster, less expensive, more appropriate care.

Where to go for care

Use this guide to know where to go for care before you need it.

Primary care physician (PCP)

For sick care, minor injuries, annual preventive visits, diagnostics, and management of chronic conditions, a PCP is the best option. Your PCP may be an in-network doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant.

Virtual care

Virtual care is a good option for minor issues like a cold, flu, or pink eye, or if you need care at night, on the weekend, or when your doctor is not available.

Retail health clinics

Visit a retail health clinic in a supermarket, drugstore, or big-box retail store for minor, uncomplicated illnesses or injuries when you cannot wait for an appointment with your PCP.

Urgent care

Urgent care is an option for non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses that require immediate care, such as ear pain, persistent diarrhea or vomiting, minor burns, or a shallow cut.

Need a PCP?

  • Find one in your neighborhood – Contact the NARFA Benefit Center if you need help finding a PCP. Our representatives can help you find a PCP, family medicine, internal medicine, general practice, or a specific provider name.

The NARFA Benefit Center is ready to assist you in navigating the complex and sometimes confusing health care system.

Contact Us to learn more about NARFA, our programs, and how we help our members every step of the way.

Categories: 2024, Health Care

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