Whether you experience a traumatic injury, minor illness or simply need a wellness exam, the most important step you can take is getting the care you need. That way, you can find trained experts for your specific medical needs, stay ahead of potential health issues or even help prevent your condition from worsening.
But with primary, virtual, urgent and emergency care services available, how do you decide which type of care is best for your medical situation?
Learn the differences between each type of medical service so you don’t delay and get care right away.
Primary care is ongoing, comprehensive care and preventative medicine that helps you live a full, healthy life.
Your primary care provider — either an internal or family medicine physician, pediatrician or OB/GYN, depending on your age and medical needs — gets to know you and your health history on a deeper level. That means they have a more accurate view of your overall wellness.
At Wellstar, our primary care providers’ goals are to keep you feeling your best, from annual check-ups to health screenings and immunizations to last-minute sick visits. They can also easily connect you with specialists, such as a cardiologist or neurologist, for expert care.
What we treat
“See your primary care provider for chronic conditions, conditions that require follow up, medication refills, wellness checks and overall health management,” shared Associate Medical Director of Wellstar Urgent Care Jennifer Bush.
- Annual wellness exams
- Health screenings, labs and imaging
- Care for chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure
- Immunizations for children and adults
- Treatment for acute illness, such as the flu or colds
- Coordinating care with other specialists
- Physical and mental health concerns, such as weight loss or anxiety
Find a Wellstar primary care location in your neighborhood.
Whether you have a busy schedule or can’t find anyone to watch the kids, virtual appointments are an easy way to keep up with your health from anywhere.
At Wellstar, we offer virtual visits with both primary care providers and specialists — no matter if you are an established patient or not. Connect with your Wellstar provider over the phone or with video on a computer, smartphone or tablet.
If you’re an established patient, simply request a virtual visit through MyChart. If you don’t have an account, it’s easy to sign up for MyChart and keep all of your important health information in one secure space. You can also call your physician’s office directly and request a virtual appointment over the phone.
These days, many types of appointments can be done virtually, including consultations, care for chronic conditions and prescription management. In addition to virtual primary and specialty care appointments, we also provide virtual urgent care through WellstarON for minor medical concerns.
Benefits of virtual care
Virtual care is a great way to find medical appointments that are flexible and fit your life. Advantages include being able to:
- Skip traffic and avoid the drive into the medical office
- Stay home if you are feeling sick
- Squeeze in an appointment on a busy schedule
- Avoid arranging childcare if you have young kids who need supervision
- Have your family by your side from the comfort of home
While virtual care is a convenient way to stay well, it should never be used in place of emergency care. If you are experiencing a life-threatening medical emergency, call 911 right away.
Ask your provider if virtual care may work for your next appointment. Learn more about online care options.
If you’re dealing with a minor injury or illness or need care after your physician’s regular office hours, going to urgent care is often the right choice. Wellstar Urgent Care Centers provide quick, convenient care for non-emergency medical conditions.
Because these locations offer walk-in care, extended hours and weekend availability, it’s easy to get the care you need. We also offer urgent care through WellstarON, which provides virtual health visits for minor medical concerns from the comfort and convenience of home.
What we treat
“Go to urgent care for non-life-threatening illness and injuries, such as minor cuts — even ones that require stitches — cold and flu, nausea, painful urination, infections, rashes, animal bites, fever and simple fractures and sprains,” Jennifer Bush explained.
Wellstar Urgent Care provides:
- Care for minor illnesses and injuries, such as coughs, colds, sprains and broken bones
- Treatment for medical issues like bites, burns and cuts
- COVID-19 testing and evaluation for patients 12 and older
- Lab and X-rays
- Sports physicals
- Occupational health services
- Worker’s compensation services
While urgent care provides convenient health services, keep in mind, it’s not a substitute for having an established primary care provider. Learn the benefits of primary care.
Find a Wellstar urgent care location near you or make a virtual urgent care appointment.
In a life-threatening medical emergency, every second counts. Never put off getting the proper care when lives are on the line. Remember, driving yourself to the emergency department (ED) may delay care, so call 911 for the fastest access to emergency care.
When the unexpected happens, Wellstar is always ready in a medical emergency. Our trained team provides expert emergency care 24-hours a day for people of all ages. We even have several pediatric emergency room locations, specifically designed to treat children.
Signs of a medical emergency
“Go to the ER if you are having a life-threatening injury, such as confusion, head injury, severe chest pain or shortness of breath, drug overdose, abdominal pain, sudden dizziness or numbness, seizures, severe allergic reactions or severe burns,” Jennifer Bush said.
Recognize the signs of a medical emergency:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Chest discomfort or pain
- Severe abdominal pain
- Fainting or loss of consciousness
- Sudden dizziness, weakness or vision changes
- Sudden, severe pain
- Uncontrolled or severe bleeding
- Choking, coughing up blood or severe vomiting
- Suicidal or homicidal thoughts
- Changes in mental status, such as confusion or unusual behavior
- Traumatic injury due to a motor vehicle or other accidents
Find a Wellstar hospital location close to you. Remember, call 911 right away in a medical emergency. That way, care can begin sooner during the crucial time it takes to be transported to the hospital.
Now the next time you need care, you’ll know where to go, whether it’s to see your primary care provider, schedule a virtual appointment, get walk-in care at an urgent care center or fast emergency care when it matters most.