When is the right time to go to Urgent Care versus the Emergency Room?

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urgent care

Urgent care versus the Emergency Room

If you are concerned about your child’s health and it’s after-hours (because when has your child ever gotten sick or injured when it’s convenient?), Urgent Care is a great place to start. The Iowa Clinic offers online reservations and a virtual waiting room so you can wait for your appointment from your home or your car. This helps to measurably cut down on the exposure from other sick individuals and keep safe from COVID-19. 

Go to urgent care when you:

  • Have a condition that isn’t necessarily a life-or-death situation but still requires medical attention
  • Get seriously ill or injured outside of your normal physicians’ clinic hours
  • Cannot get an appointment with your provider or their medical team 

Urgent care clinics can treat a plethora of symptoms and ailments and are a great option for non-emergent things that you wouldn’t go to the Emergency Room. A good rule of thumb is that urgent care can help fill the gap when your child becomes sick or injured and your regular pediatrician is not available.  

The Iowa Clinic Urgent Care clinics are equipped to treat:

  • Allergic reaction to food, animal, or bug bite without shortness of breath
  • Sprains, strains, fractures, dislocations
  • Broken bones
  • Stitches
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Abdominal and back pain
  • Vomiting, diarrhea or dehydration
  • Migraines
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Asthma 
  • Cuts and minor burns
  • Skin rashes and infections
  • Post-surgical infections
  • IV hydration and IV antibiotic administration

It can be hard to know when and where to go when your child is feeling poorly. Do you wait and try and avoid a costly medical trip to the Emergency Room? Or do you seek immediate medical attention from the convenience of an Urgent Care Clinic? 

Watch our Facebook Live interview with Urgent Care physician, Dr. Matthew Otis, to get the whole scoop from a professional AND a dad.

Matthew Otis, DO has been with The Iowa Clinic since 2014. He originally joined The Iowa Clinic because of its well-regarded status in the central Iowa medical community. The ability to serve patients of all ages for a variety of medical problems is Dr. Otis’ favorite part of his practice. In his free time, he spends time with his family, bikes, and runs.







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