Iowa Doctors Urgently Urge You To Avoid ER if You Only Need Urgent Care
Let's be clear. The purpose of an Urgent Care facility is quick care for minor illnesses. The need for an Emergency room visit is just that. It's an emergency. Iowa doctors think the line is getting blurred, as wait times at urgent care facilities increase, making patients feel like their needs aren't so urgent.
Medical staff at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics tell KCRG we're all basically hypochondriacs living in a real-life WebMD and the Coronavirus pandemic has apparently only made it worse.
You know what I mean. We start feeling some minor symptoms like a fever or a scratchy throat and start hitting the medical sites to check for remedies. The next thing we know, we're down a rabbit hole until we've convinced ourselves our life is in imminent danger. Our patience with the "urgent" care facilities has worn thin because wait times are longer than we expect. We go to the ER thinking we'll get in faster and because, by law, you can't be turned away at an ER. Not so fast. No, really, not so fast.
Emergency rooms are backing up, too, for this reason. The sickest patients (as in the ones who actually belong in the ER) are getting seen first, so you're back to where you started in a long line of patients if you're just feeling miserable but not dangerously so.
UIHC physicians have a request. They say to call ahead if you think you need to come to either the urgent care clinic (yeah they can do appointments now too) or to find out if an ER visit is legitimately needed. You won't get seen especially quickly at either one unless, again, your case is truly an emergency but in the long run it will save you time. Also, health care workers are exhausted from the last year and a half. Give them a break and do some due diligence.