Why Urgent Care May Not Be Your Best Choice

When you or a family member get sick, do you go to urgent care? If so, you may want to reconsider.

Urgent care facilities have become common. Most people live within close proximity to one or more. These facilities can be handy for quick-fix issues that need speedy attention, but don’t require an emergency room. Urgent care often is open after hours and on weekends, making it a convenient option for busy people. In addition, they are often less expensive than a visit to the emergency room.

Despite all of this, depending on your reason for visiting, urgent care may not be your best choice. Here’s why:

1. Lack of medical history
Your family physician or pediatrician knows you and your children best. They have records of all of your previous visits and are familiar with your medical history. The urgent care facility will not have this same understanding of your background. They will be able to assess your current illness or ailment, but will not have your full medical history to add context to the situation.

2. Possible drug interaction issues
You always want to be careful about drug interactions between anything you are taking now and whatever the urgent care physician prescribes. Because that physician does not have your full medical history, they also may not know what you are currently taking or what you have had experience with – good or bad – in the past. If you do go to urgent care, make sure you tell them everything about medications you are taking now, allergies, or adverse effects you have experienced in the past. Then check with your pharmacist and your family physician to make sure the any medication prescribed by the urgent care physician is safe for you to take.

3. Difficulty following up
When you visit urgent care, you may have trouble following up with the physician you saw. Sometimes the staff you saw at night is not available during the day, or they may hold a position with another medical facility during other hours. Often, the urgent care physician will tell you during your visit to schedule a follow-up appointment with your own family physician. This is always a good idea and will give you the opportunity to address any questions or concerns you had after your urgent care facility, as well as allow your family physician to update your medical history.

HS-B4-You-Get-SickWant to avoid unnecessary grief and expense when you get sick? Then you need this essential guide to the business behind your healthcare decisions. MyHealthSpin’s “Easy Healthcare: Before You Get Sick” ebook guide gives you all of the practical advice you need to take charge of your healthcare options!

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About Do Not Resuscitate Orders

A recent news story highlighted an ethical dilemma that arose for doctors who were treating an unresponsive patient and found “Do Not Resuscitate” and a signature tattooed on the patient’s chest. Fortunately, the physicians eventually were able to locate an actual Do Not Resuscitate form for the patient and could, therefore, honor those wishes.

Just what is a Do Not Resuscitate, or DNR, order? A DNR expresses, in a legal format, your wishes not to have lifesaving measures performed should the need arise. This document provides clear direction for your hospital, assisted living facility or nursing home.

Upon admittance to a health facility, you may be asked about your wishes should an event arise where you are unable to answer in the moment. For example, if you stop breathing, have a heart issue, a stroke or any other condition that may put you in a position for life-saving measures, do you want the hospital to do everything possible to keep you alive?

There is no right answer. You may decide you want life-saving measures, or you may decide you don’t want them. When my parents were nearing the end of their lives, they made the decision that they had lived full lives and if they were to stop breathing, they wanted to be left to die. The point is that you should make this decision at a time when you are able to avoid the decision being made for you.

Although DNR is a common term, you may hear some hospitals refer to this as “no code,” which means they won’t call for help to revive you if you stop breathing or are unconscious. The hospital may also refer to “allowing a natural death,” which means the same thing.

If you haven’t already, discuss your Do Not Resuscitate wishes with your doctor, hospital or healthcare facility. They will let you know how to proceed with the proper paperwork.

Source: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/do-not-resuscitate-dnr-tattoo-leaves-doctors-debating-whether-to-save-his-life/

Do you want to learn more about navigating the health care system? Pick up my book Your Hospital Stay in which you can learn about the other documents you should have in place.

How To Improve Your Health Literacy

Last month was Health Literacy Month, but at MyHealthSpin, my goal is to spread health literacy all year long by giving you the information you need to make the best, most informed decisions when it comes to your health and healthcare. Here are a few ways you can improve your health literacy in order to play a more active role in your health.

Listen
Being at the doctor can be overwhelming, especially if you’re facing scary news about your health. But, make sure you listen to everything the doctor has to say. Bring a pen and a pad of paper to write down everything. Or have a family member come with you to serve as a second pair of ears. That way you can remember what your doctor said after you return home.

Do your research
This doesn’t mean research your symptoms and self-diagnose. This means to do your research once you have seen a licensed healthcare professional. For example, if your doctor tells you you have high blood pressure, research what you can do to maintain it. It’s important to know everything you can about your health. 

Ask questions
Be sure you ask your doctor questions. Doctors are busy but they can still answer your questions. The more you know the more proactive you will be able to be when it comes to your health. 

Teach
Teach others the things you learn about health and healthcare. Not only does it reinforce it but it helps others to gain knowledge. 

 

To learn more about healthcare pick up my ebooks in Easy Healthcare: Set 3. This set includes three books to help you navigate your health care: Before You Get Sick, Your Hospital Stay, and free bonus What You Need First.