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June 12, 2012 > Urgent But Not an Emergency? Get the Care You Need

Urgent But Not an Emergency? Get the Care You Need

What to Do on Evenings and Weekends When a Trip to the ER Isn't Needed

What do you do when an illness or injury is pressing enough to require a doctor's care, but it's an evening or weekend, and the doctor's office is closed? Fortunately, there's an option that is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day of the year - without having to go to the emergency room.

"In situations that are not life-threatening, urgent care can be an ideal choice with many benefits," explains Washington Urgent Care Medical Director Sarkis Banipalsin, M.D.

Patients of all ages are seen at Washington Urgent Care on a walk-in basis with no appointment necessary, and Dr. Banipalsin and the clinic's other physicians treat a variety of medical issues. Additionally, onsite access to X-ray and laboratory facilities helps speed the treatment process.

Save Money and Time

In addition to quality care, two of the most important advantages Washington Urgent Care offers are cost-savings and convenience, Dr. Banipalsin says. After all, in the event of a minor injury or illness, isn't it often the cost and the hassle that makes us reconsider a non-emergency trip to the emergency room?

Co-payments at Washington Urgent Care are generally much less than emergency room co-payments, and uninsured Washington Township Health Care District residents can receive a significant discount off their charges by paying at the time of service.

"Washington Urgent Care serves as a convenient and cost-effective alternative to emergency room care if it's not an emergency situation," Banipalsin says. "And on average wait times at the clinic are less than 30 minutes."

Patients Come First

What really makes the clinic stand out, though, according to Patti Coffey, R.N., nurse manager of the clinic, is the clinical team members who make each patient a priority.

"At Washington Hospital and Washington Urgent Care, we practice the Patient First Ethic," Coffey says. "Part of that standard means that we want our patients to feel good about their visit from beginning to end, because when they come to us, they don't feel well. Our job is to help our patients feel better."

Dr. Banipalsin says it's worth it to think of urgent care the next time you or a family member needs care but doesn't require a trip to the emergency room.

"Local urgent care services can benefit you and your family by allowing you to access the medical care you need without the long wait time," Dr. Banipalsin concludes.

What the Clinic Treats

The clinic sees patients with a wide variety of health care needs, including:
* Colds, coughs, flu and flu-related symptoms
* Lacerations
* Injuries, such as cuts and bruises

The clinic's staff also offers occupational health care services to employers throughout the Tri-City area through the Well for Work program, which provides:
* Work injury management
* Drug and alcohol testing
* Pre-employment physical exams (by appointment only between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
* Rehabilitation services

Care You Can Trust

Dr. Banipalsin emphasizes that Washington Urgent Care is accredited through the Urgent Care Center Accreditation (UCCA) Program, which sets standards for urgent care facilities and measures their performance. Accreditation is awarded only to those urgent care centers that are found to be in compliance with the standards, and accreditation means that the accredited clinic practices with excellence.

Open 365 Days a Year

Washington Urgent Care is located at 2500 Mowry Avenue, Suite 212, on the second floor of the Washington West Building, in Fremont. Call (510) 791-CARE (791-2273) for more information. The clinic is open everyday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., no appointment necessary.

When to Go to the ER

Sometimes a trip to the emergency room is unavoidable. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the following symptoms, always use your best judgment and call 9-1-1 immediately:
* Chest pain
* Difficulty breathing
* Severe bleeding or head trauma
* Loss of consciousness
* Sudden loss of vision or blurred vision

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