September 4, 2019

What ails you? The answer to this question and knowing the best health care facility to go to for treatment can save you time and money.

Primary care

Your family doctor, primary care office or clinic is the place to start in the health care system. This is your "medical home." Care providers at these facilities diagnose and treat both acute and chronic illnesses. They also can help you stay healthy and protect you from illness. Most of your health care problems can be managed at this primary health care provider. You can schedule an appointment when you need a provider who knows your medical history.

CAMC has three primary care locations. Need an appointment? Call us!

  • Nitro Primary Care: (304) 755-4797
  • Teays Valley Primary Care: (304) 757-1031
  • Winfield Primary Care: (304) 586-0111

Urgent care center

Urgent care centers provide medical care for conditions that aren't an immediate, serious threat to life or health. They are not intended to provide emergency care. In many cases, they are like a walk-in health care provider's office.

The biggest difference between an urgent care facility and a health care provider's office is that you can walk-in without an appointment. Also, at an urgent care center, you probably won't see the same health care provider from visit to visit. Many people use these clinics as their primary health care providers. Others use them only for walk-in treatment for illnesses or injuries.

Urgent care centers give medical care right away if you can't see your own health care provider. These places can treat acute and chronic illnesses and injuries. An urgent care center can help if your regular health care provider is not available or if you can't get an appointment as soon as you need to. They are also the place to go when you get ill outside of regular office hours. You won't have to wait for hours in a hospital emergency room.

The CAMC Urgent Care Center in Cross Lanes is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Appointments are never needed. The urgent care treats a wide range of medical issues and provides a full range of diagnostic services, including X-rays, CT scans, ultrasound and lab testing. Call (304) 388-7070.

Emergency room (ER)

The emergency room is only for serious illness and injury. An emergency means you could die or be hurt permanently (disabled) if you don't get care quickly. Patients are not necessarily treated on a first come, first served basis. In the emergency room, you will be looked at and be treated. This may be for medical, surgical or psychiatric care. Emergency rooms are recommended for major injuries such as loss of consciousness, stroke symptoms, signs of a heart attack or severe chest pain, excessive or uncontrollable bleeding or any condition that requires immediate medical attention.

Here are examples of emergencies. This is not a complete list. These need immediate care:

  • A hard time breathing
  • Severe chest pain or pressure
  • Palpitations or fluttering in your heart
  • Choking
  • Severe bleeding
  • Suddenly not able to move or speak
  • Suddenly not being able to feel an arm or leg
  • Blacking out (fainting)
  • Poisoning
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Changes in mental status or confusion, difficulty waking, unusual behavior
  • Changes in vision
  • Sudden onset of "worst headache of your life"
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Thoughts of harming another person
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Deep cuts or severe burns
  • Broken bones, or sudden severe pain and swelling in a joint

Emergency care is available 24-hours a day at CAMC's four emergency room locations:

CAMC General Hospital (Trauma Center, Stroke Center, Neurosciences Center, Orthopedics)

CAMC Memorial Hospital (Cancer Center, Heart and Vascular Center, Orthopedics)

CAMC Women and Children's Hospital (OB, labor and delivery, Newborn ICU, pediatric ICU, pediatric specialties)

CAMC Teays Valley Hospital (Imaging Services, Neurology, Orthopedics, Urology)

However, if you have an emergency, go to the nearest emergency room or call 911 for an ambulance.

For more information about the different levels of care at different facilities, visit the CAMC Health Information Center online.

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