Visiting? Returning? What are your health care options?
The staff of the Boothbay Region Health Center has published a white paper that explains when to go the Urgent Care Center, when to call 911, and when to come to the Health Center. Download it here. Here's a brief excerpt:
Urgent Care. The Urgent Care Center provides on-site CAT scans and x-rays, on-site blood testing and analysis, IV fluids and medications. Urgent Care is the best place to go for fractures or sprains with no visible bone. (If a broken bone is visible, go to an ER).
If you've been vomiting or having prolonged diarrhea, you should go to Urgent Care. They can rehydrate you using IVs, and diagnose possible causes. If you have dental pain: The Urgent Care physicians are trained to do “dental blocks” which can help alleviate dental pain without narcotics. If you're burned: The Urgent Care has access to state-of-the art bandages, and to the care team at the Burn Unit at Maine Medical Center for consult.
Health Center. The Health Center is like any doctor's office: you're seen by primary care providers (doctors and nurse practitioners) who can treat most ailments. You can walk in or call for an appointment.
Go there for joint and muscular pain, or any kind of chronic pain. Or, if you have a sore throat, earache, or rash, or a reaction to bug bites. They treat colds and minor allergies. They'll check your blood pressure, do EKGs, draw blood, and do lab tests. Go there for womens' health care, and physical exams.
If you have a bad scrape or a bad cut, they treat abrasions, stitch up lacerations, and remove fish hooks. They treat minor asthma flare-ups, and upper respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. If you have flu-like symptoms, they do rapid flu tests, and will also check for lyme disease and/or any of the other tick-borne co-infections.
Call 911: if you're having trouble breathing, if you have chest pain (discomfort, pressure, fullness, squeezing), shortness of breath, stroke-like symptoms (facial drooping or numbness, arm or leg weakness, speech difficulty, slurred speech, inability to speak, rapid loss or change in vision, sudden severe headache).