Urgent care is an excellent alternative to the emergency room if you require treatment for an urgent but non-life-threatening injury or illness. Even though there are urgent care centers in nearly every town now, it can still take a while to get from where you are to the urgent care for treatment.
When that happens, first aid is essential to keep the patient as healthy and comfortable as possible. Next time you or someone you’re with needs medical attention, keep these first aid tips in mind.
Assessing the Situation
Before you do anything, you should take a step back and assess the situation. Is the person in a stable condition? If they’re unresponsive, unconscious, or having trouble breathing, call 911. If the person is stable, it’s time to begin a head to toe check. Look and touch from head to toe to find any abrasions or areas that are in pain. Take note of these areas so that the urgent care staff knows precisely what they’re dealing with. Then, take steps to stabilize the affected areas.
Control the Bleeding
If someone needs stitches and they’re bleeding, apply pressure to the wound. Apply enough pressure to control the bleeding, although this may be uncomfortable for the person that got injured. Keep constant pressure on the wound until arriving at urgent care.
Broken Bones and Strains
If you believe someone has a broken bone or a strain, don’t make them move the affected area. Try to stabilize the area as much as possible until the urgent care staff can perform X-rays and place a cast or brace. If you can see bone, this is a compound fracture, and the patient needs to go to the emergency room right away.
Seek Professional Help
It’s important to remember that even the best first aid training isn’t a replacement for professional care. When someone is injured or ill, you should seek professional help after following the first aide steps. The Red Cross has more first aid tips available here that discuss life-threatening situations too.
Urgent care staff doesn’t expect you to fix an injury before arriving. Still, we want to see patients kept as safe and comfortable as possible until they’re in our care! No matter what, remember to stay calm. Panicking in a medical situation can often lead to actions that make the injury worse.