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November 10, 2022 Health Care 101

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Urgent care providers do a great job of seeing anything we might see in family practice as well as things that are a little more acute or severe.

Luke Menet, Nurse Practitioner, ThedaCare Physicians-Darboy, Kimberly and Menasha

Life has a way of throwing all kinds of busyness at us all at once. For many, late fall brings a flurry of activity, including sporting events, concerts and holiday preparations.

With hectic schedules, the fun can turn into a frenzy. Throw in cold and flu season, and the balance might tip toward stress. During these times, it’s good to know you can get same-day care for yourself and your family.

Urgent and walk-in care clinics offer some of the easiest ways to get same-day care. Options are available in Appleton, Berlin, Neenah, Shawano, and Waupaca. These sites offer the flexibility and convenience of the evening, weekend, and holiday hours.

When you visit thedacare.org/urgent-care, you can see wait times at urgent and walk-in care locations and even tell us you’re on your way. While this option doesn’t guarantee a specific appointment time, it often reduces your wait time.

Benefits of urgent and walk-in care

Luke Menet, a ThedaCare family medicine nurse practitioner, worked in urgent care before landing in his current role practicing at ThedaCare Physicians clinics in Darboy, Kimberly and Menasha.

“Urgent care providers do a great job of seeing anything we might see in family practice as well as things that are a little more acute or severe,” he says.

Primary care clinics may also offer same-day appointments. When you log in to MyThedaCare, you can check availability at your clinic as well as those nearby.

No matter where you go for care, you may see a nurse practitioner, physician assistant or doctor, all of whom are highly trained experts. Your provider will create a clear plan for the next steps for your care.

“Every single one of us works together to do what we think is best for you. We also communicate with each other when there are questions,” Menet says.

You don’t have to have a primary care provider or even be a ThedaCare patient to visit urgent or walk-in care. If you’re a new patient, this can offer a great option for getting to know ThedaCare. Menet says he regularly sees patients who are follow-ups from urgent or walk-in care.

Same-day care offers convenience, but not at an increased cost. When you visit a ThedaCare urgent or walk-in care clinic, you’ll pay the same copay or charge that you would to visit your primary care provider.   

How to know where to get care

We’ve all been there. You or a family member develops a new, worrying symptom. It’s natural to want to get care quickly, but choosing the best option can save you time and money.

Many times, people go to the emergency department when they could have gone to their clinic or urgent or walk-in care, says Dr. Suzanne Havican, a family medicine doctor with ThedaCare Physicians-New London.

Dr. Havican shares some of the common conditions that leave people wondering where to seek care.

Headaches

Generally, you can visit your primary care provider or go to urgent or walk-in care. Seek emergency care if your headache meets these criteria:

  • It’s different than your typical headache or is the worst headache you’ve ever had
  • Over-the-counter medications aren’t working
  • You’re experiencing vision changes, numbness or tingling

Stomach bugs

Vomiting and diarrhea are common complaints, but they can be disconcerting, Dr. Havican says. “First, ask yourself, did you eat something unusual? Were you at a place where other people had similar symptoms?” she says.

Typically, a visit to urgent or walk-in care can help you sort out whether you have food poisoning or a stomach bug, Dr. Havican says.

Cold and flu symptoms

“Cough and cold season has gotten complicated because we always have to have in the back of our mind, is this COVID-19?” Dr. Havican says.

If you’re not sure what you have and have worsening symptoms and a high fever, urgent or walk-in care is a good place to seek care, Dr. Havican says. If you’re having trouble breathing or reach a point where you’re so lethargic, you can’t care for yourself, it’s time for a trip to the emergency department.

Urinary tract infection

For a typical UTI in an adult, a visit with your primary care provider or to urgent care is a good option. A UTI in a child can be a more serious matter, and a call to your child’s primary care provider or a trip to the emergency department could be in order, Dr. Havican says.  

When to seek emergency care

If you’re experiencing an emergency, don’t delay. Call 911 or go to the emergency department. Those situations include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Moderate to severe chest pain
  • Serious head injuries
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Severe burns
  • Severe cuts with major bleeding
  • Stroke symptoms

When sickness arises, it’s good to have a plan. ThedaCare has convenient care options to meet every need.

Need same-day care?

Check urgent and walk-in care wait times and let us know you’re on your way.

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