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Emergency Department and Urgent Care: From life’s big to little emergencies

When unexpected illnesses or injuries occur, it is sometimes difficult deciding whether the condition needs treatment at an emergency department or urgent care facility.  If an individual is experiencing a life-threatening situation such as severe chest pain, shortness of breath, sudden facial dropping or weakness in arm or leg, seizures, or traumatic injury from a severe fall or vehicle accident, call 911 immediately. Urgent care facilities are very useful for individuals who have an illness, injury or other healthcare concern that would otherwise normally be seen by their primary care physician, but are unable to get an immediate appointment. Examples of reasons to choose an urgent care facility could include: fever, sore throat, flu, burns, cuts, rashes, sprains or fractures.

The length of your visit depends on your condition, tests needed and the number of patients with critical injuries or illnesses. On average, trips to the emergency department take time. At Cone Health MedCenter High Point, we do our best to treat all patients in a timely manner, but we have to consider the severity of each case and treat patients in order of need. Sometimes, someone with a more urgent injury or illness may go to a treatment area before you. We take care of patients who walk in the front door and patients that are brought in by an ambulance by our local emergency medical services (EMS). The fewest patients visit the emergency department between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m., and around 3 p.m., so you may experience shorter waits during those periods.

The MedCenter High Point Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Depending on the care you need, we will either treat you or stabilize and transfer you to the appropriate facility within our network. While MedCenter High Point doesn’t have inpatient beds for long-term treatment, we do work closely with other area hospitals to transfer or refer you to another facility if you’d benefit from additional medical care.

Fortunately, Cone Health has an exceptional network of emergency departments, urgent care facilities, and a trauma care center dedicated to providing immediate treatment for individuals in the community experiencing unexpected illness, injury and other concerning health conditions.

Spokesperson Background:

Stacey Toben is the director of the Cone Health MedCenter High Point Emergency Department. She received a Bachelor of Science in anthropology from the University of Georgia and her Bachelor of Science in nursing from North Carolina A&T State University. Stacey received a master’s in health administration from Pfeiffer University in Charlotte.