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September 7, 2010 > Understanding Urgent Care

Understanding Urgent Care

Free Seminar Explains Urgent Care Versus Emergency Room Care

It's Saturday morning and you're packing up the car to go to the park when you crunch your finger in the car door. Now your finger is swollen and painful - but the thought of sitting in the Emergency Room for half of Saturday to get an X-ray makes you cringe. And your doctor's office is closed until Monday.

There are plenty of scenarios where we find ourselves questioning a trip to the Emergency Room when it's not quite an emergency. So what is the answer when you need medical care, but your doctor's office is closed and it's painful or annoying, but not life-threatening?

On Tuesday, Sept. 21, Dr. Sarkis Banipalsin, M.D., medical director of Washington Urgent Care, will present a free Health & Wellness seminar about urgent care, what the clinic treats and when to go.

"During the seminar, I will go over in detail the signs that indicate when emergency care is necessary," Dr. Banipalsin says. "If you suspect that you or a loved one needs emergency treatment, you should always call 9-1-1."

Dr. Banipalsin says he will cover the list of warning signs the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) says indicates a medical emergency, as well as populations whose unique medical conditions require emergency evaluation.

On the flip side, in situations that are not life-threatening urgent care can be an ideal option with many benefits, he explains.

At Washington Urgent Care, patients of all ages are seen on a walk-in basis 365 days a year between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. - no appointment necessary. The clinic's board-certified physicians treat a variety of medical issues, and onsite access to X-ray and laboratory facilities helps speed the treatment process, according to Banipalsin.

But let's face it. For a minor injury or illness, sometimes it's the cost and the hassle that gives us pause when contemplating a non-emergent trip to the Emergency Room.

"Washington Urgent Care is a convenient and cost-effective alternative to emergency room care if it's not an emergency situation," Banipalsin says.

On average, wait times at the clinic are less than 30 minutes; plus, co-payments at for Washington Urgent Care are generally much less than Emergency Room co-payments according to Dr. Banipalsin.

Additionally, he will explain how uninsured Washington Township Health Care District residents can receive a significant discount off their charges by paying at the time of service.

"It's a good idea to find out how local urgent care services can benefit you and your family in case you need them," Banipalsin says. "Get the medical care you need without the long wait time."

Urgent care services are not the only ones offered at the clinic. Dr. Banipalsin will also talk about Washington Hospital Healthcare System's Well for Work program, which provides occupational health care services.

To learn more about how urgent care services can benefit you and your family, attend Dr. Banipalsin's free seminar on Tuesday, Sept. 21, from 1 to 2:30 p.m., in the Conrad E. Anderson, M.D., Auditorium, located in the Washington West building at 2500 Mowry Avenue in Fremont.

For more information about Washington Urgent Care's services, visit

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