WHICH TO CHOOSE IN MEDICAL EMERGENCIES The latest news on the health and wellness issues that matter most • January 2016 Health Matters Emergency Room or Immediate/Urgent Care Center? ED staff is trained to handle just about any type of medical emergency such as obstetric, trauma and heart emergencies, in patients of all ages.
For emergencies involving children, head straight to the NCH North Naples Hospital Pediatric ED, which is staffed by board-certified pediatric emergency medicine physicians. “We are seeing an increase in our volume, year-round, and an increase in the acuity level or illness severity of patients,” explained Novakovich. “The ED should be reserved for those who have life or limb threatening illness or injury.” Patients who seek treatment at a hospital ED may need to wait longer to be seen by a physician while severely ill patients receive care. “For those patients, it is better to visit a local immediate or urgent care center,” said Novakovich. “These care centers are designed to serve patients with lower acuity or lower severity of illness. It is a quicker method of care and more convenient for patients who can get in and out faster.” Patients seeking treatment at an NCH Physician Group Immediate Care Center are in good hands, said Novakovich with assurance. “Patients are treated by highly qualified physicians and staff who provide excellent care and who have an array of equipment at their disposal, including EKG and lab capability,” she added. “They can also provide referrals to specialists for follow-up visits or admittance to an ED, if needed.
Y ou are experiencing a medical emergency, and you need to get help fast. However, before you head out, it is important to determine whether a hospital emergency department (ED) or an urgent or immediate care center will best serve your needs. Betsy Novakovich, R.N., NCH Director Emergency Services and Marco Island Urgent Care Center, said that many times people with critical, life-threatening issues waste precious time driving to an immediate/urgent care center when they need the specialized services that only a hospital emergency department can provide. The Emergency Department is designed to provide fast life and limb saving treatment. Common medical emergencies are: chest pain, shortness of breath or wheezing, severe pain, loss of balance or faint- ing, difficulty speaking, confusion, weakness, paralysis, heart palpita- tions, sudden severe headache, high fevers or fevers with rash, intesti- nal bleeding, falls with injury particularly in those on blood thinners, loss of vision, head or eye injuries, deep complicated cuts, bleeding that won’t stop, pregnancy complications, serious burns, and seizures. Dial 911 don’t drive if in doubt or experiencing chest pain, stroke symptoms, dizziness, lightheadedness, double vision or bleeding. Hospital emergency departments are staffed with highly skilled, board-certified emergency physicians and nurses – many of whom hold specialty certification in Emergency Nursing (CENs). Also on duty are physician assistants and nurse practitioners who are experienced in providing emergency care. Hospital EDs also offer specialized equipment, such as NCH’s tele-robot, which aids in the immediate diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients. NCH NCH EMERGENCY DEPARTMENTS: ■ NCH Downtown Naples Hospital, 350 7th Street, Naples, (239) 624-5000 ■ NCH North Naples Hospital, 11190 Health Park Blvd., Naples, (239) 552-7000 ■ NCH Healthcare Northeast, 15420 Collier Blvd., Naples, (239) 624-8700 NCH URGENT AND IMMEDIATE CARE CENTERS: ■ Marco Island Urgent Care Center, 40 Heathwood Drive, Marco Island, (239) 624-8540 ■ Vanderbilt Immediate Care, 801 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., Naples, (239) 624-8220 ■ Eagle View Immediate Care, 2450 Goodlette Rd., Naples, (239) 624-8476 ■ Bonita Immediate Care, 3302 Bonita Beach Rd, Bonita Springs, (239) 624-1050
When in doubt, it is never wrong to present to the emergency department. Teresa Gurgiolo, RN (left), Deborah Swilley, Supervisor of Patient Access (center) and Betsy Novakovich, RN, at the NCH North Naples Hospital emergency department. WHEN TO GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM For all limb or life-threatening emergencies, such as: ✔ Chest pain ✔ Shortness of breath ✔ Stroke symptoms ✔ Severe pain ✔ Severe bleeding WHEN TO GO TO IMMEDIATE OR URGENT CARE CENTERS ✔ Allergic reactions or rashes ✔ Minor cuts ✔ Fever, coughs, cold ✔ Sprains or strains ✔ Sore throat ✔ Vomiting
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