Sudden health concerns can be stressful. To add to your worry, you may not know what type of care you need. If you’re not sure, these tips may help.
Call our 24/7 NurseLine
You can call our 24/7 NurseLine any time, day or night at 800-285-3580. A registered nurse can help you decide whether or not you should go to the emergency room. Our nurses do not take the place of your provider. If you need medical care right away, call 911 or go to a nearby emergency room.
When it's not an emergency
Call your primary care provider’s (PCP’s) or behavioral health provider’s office 24 hours a day, seven days a week for urgent care visits. Urgent care is for sudden injuries or illnesses, like colds or mental health concerns, that are not life-threatening. You can make an appointment for an in-person or telehealth visit with your provider. If you need care before your provider can see you, ask your PCP where you should get care.
Urgent care centers (UCCs) or CVS MinuteClinics may be options when you need to see a provider for a health concern that does not put your life at risk. They are helpful when you can’t see your PCP, or it is after office hours. Both UCCs and CVS MinuteClinics can treat minor problems. Staff there can diagnose and treat things like colds and flus, ear infections, sore throats and skin problems. UCCs can also take care of more complex issues, like broken bones and sprains.
If your health gets worse or you have serious symptoms, you may need emergency care. An emergency is a health issue that puts your life at risk or can cause lasting damage to your health.
Signs* of an emergency include:
- Chest pain
- Bleeding that won’t stop
- Head injury
*This is not a full list of when you should seek emergency care. If you think you are facing an emergency, don’t wait. Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.