Think through symptoms when picking care option
When you or a loved one is not feeling well or is injured, do you know where to go to seek medical care? Is the Emergency Department the right place, the Walk-In Clinic, or your primary care provider the best? Unless it’s an urgent need, the first step is to call your primary care physician since all Community Health Network providers offer same day appointments. Family physicians are an important resource since they know you and your health history.
While calling the doctor’s office is a great choice, it’s sometimes depends on the situation. CHN also offers an emergency department and a walk-in clinic to help meet all your needs.
The CHN Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is the best choice for people with the following symptoms:
- Experiencing stroke-like symptoms, including weakness on one side of the body, difficulty speaking, seizure, loss of consciousness or a severe headache
- Severe or sudden shortness of breath, especially for patients who have asthma, emphysema or other lung-related illnesses.
- A sudden, severe allergic reaction, especially if the symptoms include the swelling or the tongue, throat tightness or shortness of breath
- Dislocation of a major joint, such as the shoulder, hip or knee
- Sudden and severe abdominal pain
- Chest pain, especially if accompanied by other symptoms such as weakness, nausea, sweating or shortness of breath
- Fever of 101 degrees or higher in an infant
Trips to the emergency department may cost more than a visit to either a walk-in clinic or a regular physician office so choose that option for emergent needs. In addition, EDs treat patients with the most severe symptoms first so depending on the timing, you may end up waiting longer than if you visited the walk-in clinic or waited for an opening with your primary care provider.
The CHN Walk-In Clinic is another care option when you’re sick or injured. It is located on the campus of Berlin Memorial Hospital and is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The walk-in clinic is just what it sounds like – walk in and the front desk takes some information and you’ll be seen as quickly as possible. This clinic, which is staffed by a nurse practitioner, is ideal for patients with:
- Ear pain
- Sore throat
- Cold and flu symptoms, such as coughing, stuffed-up or runny nose, fever, sore throat, chills, and body aches
- Minor injuries related to work or a sporting activity
- Minor wounds and lacerations
- Nausea with minor vomiting
If you’re not feeling well and want to see a physician, remember the best choice is to first contact your family physician. You’ll be seen that same day and you’ll be on the path to feeling better! For more information regarding CHN services, visit www.chnwi.org.