Walk-in services vs. Emergency care

When you or a family member is feeling unwell, how do you know where to go for treatment?

Stacia Brown, RN, Wamego Family Clinic manager, offers a few tips to help you decide whether to visit the Wamego Family Clinic’s walk-in services or if you need to go to the Emergency Room.

When to Use Walk-in Services

For non-life threatening circumstances including but not limited to:

  • Colds
  • Flu symptoms
  • Cough or upper respiratory symptoms
  • Ear or sinus pain
  • Minor burns and bruises
  • Scrapes and minor lacerations
  • Sprains
  • Possible fractures
  • Asthma
  • Pediatric illness over age of 3 months
  • Abdominal pain – mild to moderate without fever or abnormal vitals
  • Rash or hives
  • Stings and bites
  • Allergies
  • Fevers – ages 3 months to 70 years old
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Eye irritation or minor
  • Urinary symptoms
  • Minor work related injuries
  • School physicals

Will it be a long wait?

It depends, and we’ll do our best to help you quickly. Typical waits are 15 minutes to 1 hour.  You can check the wait times before you go or when you arrive.

Who will I see at the Walk-in Clinic?

You’ll see one of our healthcare providers: a medical doctor, a nurse practitioner, a physician’s assistant.  They work together and each one is committed to making lives better through health and healing and doing what is right for each patient.

Is it going to be expensive?

Check with your health insurance plan for details and co-pay amounts. Our walk-in services are billed as an office visit, not billed as ER care.  You are expected to pay your co-pay or $50 at the time of your appointment and will be sent a statement for the balance due, following insurance response.

I don’t have a primary care provider. Does it matter?

You can utilize our Walk-in Services for circumstances listed above whether you have a PCP or not. If you don’t have a PCP, we think it is important to find one.  For the best health, establish a relationship with a Primary Care Provider for annual visits, follow-up care, and to manage your health conditions.

When to Schedule an appointment with Primary Care Provider or covering provider

You can always request to schedule an appointment with your Primary Care Provider. There may be a wait time before your PCP has an available opening so plan ahead and request an appointment several days in advance.

  • Medication management and refills
  • Treatment/Plan of care for known diagnoses and conditions
  • Mental health
  • Referrals needed
  • Yearly or routine physical exams
  • KDOT Physicals
  • Pre-operative physical exam

When to Use Emergency Care or call 911 from home

  • Severe trauma or injury
  • Chest pain (suspected heart attack or stroke)
  • Amputation of limbs or deep wounds with severe bleeding
  • Sudden confusion, weakness, dizziness, numbness, severe headache
  • Difficulty speaking or breathing
  • Head injury
  • Motor vehicle accident
  • Loss of Consciousness
  • New onset of Seizures
  • Major burns involving the face, dorsal surface of hands, fingers, large areas of the body
  • Vomiting blood
  • Smoke or chemical inhalation
  • Poisoning, overdoses
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Physical or sexual assault
  • Pregnancy complications over 20 weeks including labor, bleeding, fluid leakage, decreased fetal movement
  • Abdominal pain – Severe or if it includes fever or abnormal vital signs
  • Pediatric illnesses – when infant is less than 3 months of age
  • Post-operative complications
  • Foreign object in eye