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Caregiver Training Blog

Emergency? Yes! No! (Urgent Care or ER?)

ER or Urgent Care?

It is always fascinating to watch medical television shows that center around the emergency room and the doctors making life and death decisions that culminate in thirty to sixty minutes.  What is not often seen are the difficult choices that have to be made when a relative or friend is injured, falls or has trouble breathing; is it life-threatening, what steps should be taken, does this mean a trip to the ER or is it something that can be taken care of at an urgent care center? This can be especially complex if you are a caregiver of an older adult who has a number of medical issues and making the right decision at the right time is crucial.

If the determination is made that an urgent care facility is the way to go; choosing the right center is also important.  According to the American Society on Aging – “There is no standard protocol for determining what conditions an urgent care center can treat.  Staff at one center may determine that a patient needs to go to the emergency room, while the same condition may be treated at a different center.  It depends upon the condition’s severity and the capabilities of the person on duty. Not all centers have physicians on duty.”

If you are a caregiver, this timely video on mmLearn.orgER or Urgent Care?  A Caregiver’s Decision” presented by Dr. Evan Ratner will help guide you in making those critical decisions.

The mission of mmLearn.org is to provide caregivers with online training and education that improve the quality of care received by older adults.