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Urgent Care //

Urgent Care Specialist

By nature, illness and injury follow no schedule, often occurring unexpectedly. Medical emergencies vary in seriousness. When conditions are immediately life-threatening, the emergency department of a local hospital is the best option for such care. When the need for care is urgent, but not life-threatening, your health care professionals at Aspen Family Care in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, often offer the best solution because we know you and your health history. Whether it be an injury, illness, a non-surgical fracture, or cut that needs stitches, we are ready to help. In addition, we’re more cost-effective than urgent care clinics and emergency rooms. If something ends up being more serious than anticipated, or timely management is crucial, we play an important role in health care coordination to improve speed and access to specialists and hospitals that result in not just better care, but less expensive care. If you need urgent care, please call the office right away.

Urgent Care Q & A

What is the difference between urgent and emergency care?

Urgent care medicine describes medical care given on an outpatient basis for acute illness or injury. While this is similar to the care given by a hospital’s emergency department, the scope of urgent care facilities is often not as broad as that of an emergency department and conditions treated are not as severe. Urgent care typically fits a niche between primary care and emergency services. When an injury or illness doesn’t require immediate and serious intervention, and can wait hours or up to a day or two, it generally falls into a general description as “urgent.”

Most urgent care can be managed directly by us and does not require you to visit an urgent care facility. Urgent care is often used when a family health care professional office isn’t open. In fact, almost half the patients who use urgent care providers do so because their family health care provider is unavailable. With office hours from 7:30am-5pm on weekdays and 8am-12pm on Saturdays, Aspen Family Care provides wide access, through which urgent care is available.  

In what cases should I seek urgent care rather than an emergency room?

Anytime you feel that an injury or illness should be treated “same day” or “the next day” instead of immediately, you’re likely dealing with an urgent care condition. Some examples of urgent care needs include:

  • Earaches

  • Fever, but without an accompanying rash

  • Cuts that don’t involve large blood vessels, nerves, tendons, or other organs, for which bleeding is under control

  • Common sprains

  • Painful urination

  • Persistent diarrhea or vomiting

  • Sore throat beyond typical common cold symptoms

In some cases, a patient may feel a recurring condition coming on for which they know they need treatment. When timing prevents a visit to their primary care physician, an urgent care facility can often be a good backup solution. If you don’t know if your issue is urgent, please call and request to speak to “triage,” who can help you with this. If it is after hours and you don’t know if it is okay to wait until morning, we have medical providers on call to help.

When should I seek emergency treatment instead of urgent care?

Serious conditions, injuries, or illnesses that require immediate or complex care are best addressed in a hospital setting. Care is typically available 24 hours a day and staffed to provide emergency, life-saving care. Conditions that warrant an emergency room visit include:

  • Chest pain that radiates down the arm, extends to the jaw, or accompanies sweating, vomiting, and breathing difficulty

  • Breathing difficulty

  • Sudden neurologic symptoms such as difficulty speaking, visual loss, weakness or paralysis, confusion, or lethargy (reduced consciousness or difficulty being aroused)

  • High fevers, or fevers accompanied by ra ash

  • Allergic reactions that affect the mouth or throat, or cause difficulty with breathing

  • Broken bones, when you can see it looks different or there is a cut or exposed bone in the same area

  • Seizures

  • Dislocated joints

  • Serious cuts that continue to bleed or affect function of an area

  • Suicidal thought when there is concern that someone will act on them

  • Injuries to the head or eyes that affect mentation or vision

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