Everything can be confusing when you first arrive to the U.S. One of the main areas of confusion for international students is trying to figure out where to go when they become really sick. For some international students they hear the name Emergency Room and Urgent Care and are not really sure what they mean in the U.S. In some countries, the Emergency Room is like a doctor’s office or walk in clinic and is much cheaper. However, in the U.S., the Emergency Room has a different meaning and can be really expensive. Here are some tips on where you should go when you need help.
Emergency Rooms: In the United States, the Emergency Room was created to deal with injuries and sickness that are life threatening. However, what is considered to be life threatening? Here are the top 5 reasons why you should go to the ER:
- Continuous chest pains- This may be a sign that something serious is happening to your body and you may need immediate attention. Also, if you are having a hard time breathing, feeling sick and have a burning feeling along with these chest plains for a long a period of time, find the closest emergency room as soon as possible.
- Broken bones – Breaking your bones can be very painful and if not taken care of immediately can dangerous to the rest of your body. For immediate attention, the emergency room is the safest choice.
- Severe stomach pain – If you are experiencing a painful stomach ache that goes on longer than usual, get to the emergency room as soon as possible. Severe stomach pain can be related to infections, kidney stone problems or food poisoning.
- Contusions head trauma or severe cuts- Injuries to your head is not something to mess around with. This may cause to experience seizures, losing your consciousness and repeatedly vomiting. If you are badly bruised and/ or bleeding heavily and you are unable to stop it, it would be best to go to an emergency room to get immediate attention.
- Suddenly dizzy or disoriented - This may be a sign of a seizure, dehydration or something more serious.
- Urgent Cares: These are medical facilities that can deal with numerous conditions that need to be treated immediately but are not an emergency or life threatening. Here are the top 5 situations where you should go to the urgent care rather than the emergency room.
- Skin rashes and infections - This may be a sign that there is inflammation to the skin. This can be caused by chemicals, soaps or even cosmetics dyes in clothing that are in contact with the skin. If rash starts to get worse or swells and becomes red, immediate medical attention may be required so that your condition does not get worse.
- Bleeding or Cuts- If you get injured and you are bleeding (not heavily) and may require stitches, going to an