Where to Go for Medical Help
As a caregiver, you need to ensure that the person you’re caring for gets proper medical treatment. There are different care options, and it can sometimes be hard to tell which one is the best choice. In this video, we’ll review some of the options that are available and advise you on the best place to go when the person you’re caring for is sick or injured.
As a caregiver, you need to make sure that the person you’re caring for gets proper medical treatment if they’re sick or injured.
There are a number of different care options, and it can sometimes be hard to tell which one is the best choice to make.
In this video, we’ll review some of the options that are available and advise you on the best place to go when the person you’re caring for is sick or injured.
If the person you’re caring for has the flu, a cold, a minor injury, or needs a follow-up appointment for an ongoing condition, your best option is to see their family doctor, visit a nurse practitioner, or go to a walk-in clinic.
If you or the person you’re caring for are in need of a family doctor, there is a government service called Health Care Connect, available both online and by phone, that can help connect you to a doctor or nurse practitioner in your area.
For more pressing medical needs that can’t wait until their next doctor’s appointment, you may want to take them to an urgent care centre.
Urgent care is the best place to go for things like x-rays, blood tests, minor wounds that may need stitches, broken limbs, sports injuries, minor mental health issues, minor abdominal pain, ear nose, and throat problems, and minor allergic reactions.
If the person you’re caring for needs serious medical treatment, go to the emergency room. Issues like, major broken bones, signs of heart attack or stroke, severe bleeding, poisoning, unconsciousness, and mental health issues should all be handled by the ER.
It’s important to make sure that the person you’re caring for really is having a medical emergency before taking them to the emergency room. Many people who go to the ER would be better off seeing their family doctor or visiting urgent care. Going to the emergency room for something that’s not an emergency increases wait times and forces people who do need immediate attention to go longer without help.
For a more complete list of issues and where it’s best to be seen, see our care guide
If you’re not sure where you should take the person you’re caring for, you can call the Telehealth Ontario 24-hour hotline and talk to a registered nurse. Based on their symptoms, the nurse can tell you the best place to go for help.
No matter where you end up going, always bring the health card of the person you’re caring for. You can still use all of the services mentioned above without an OHIP card, but you will either be charged in advance or billed for the services at a later date.
Navigating Ontario’s healthcare providers may seem daunting, but by learning about your options you’re helping protect the person you care for.
And remember, if you ever feel confused about where to go, an expert is always just a phone call or a few clicks of the mouse away.
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