Is it Urgent or Emergent?


When health issues suddenly arise, deciding where to go for care is the last thing you want to worry about. Should you speed to a hospital emergency room, seek help from a nearby urgent care clinic or call your doctor?

“It really depends,” said Pablo Balboa, MD, of AdventHealth Medical Group Urgent Care at Calhoun. “For life-threatening and time-sensitive health problems, go the emergency room. If the situation is urgent, but not life-threatening, go to urgent care. For routine problems, make an appointment with your primary care physician.”

Below are more examples of when and where you should go.

Emergency Room Care

Go to the ER if you experience:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure
  • Fainting, sudden dizziness or weakness on one side of your body or face
  • Changes in vision
  • Confusion or changes in mental function, such as unexplained drowsiness or disorientation
  • Any sudden or severe pain or uncontrolled bleeding
  • Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Coughing or vomiting blood or bright red blood in bowel movements
  • Difficulty speaking, slurred speech or sudden severe headache
  • Poisoning
  • Severe or worsening reaction to an insect bite or sting or to medication, especially if breathing becomes difficult
  • Severe injuries such as broken bones and head injuries or injuries occurring from an accident or fall, such as intense back or neck pain, fractures and dislocations of bones, deep cuts or severe burns
  • Suicidal or homicidal feelings
  • Signs of meningitis in adults: severe headaches, neck/joint pain and stiffness, vomiting, high temperature and sensitivity to light
  • Seizures lasting longer than five minutes or new onset seizures

Receive experienced and dependable emergency care in AdventHealth Gordon’s ER located at 1035 Red Bud Road in Calhoun. The ER is open 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week and is staffed by full-time emergency physicians and specially certified nurses.

Urgent Care

Go to Urgent Care if you experience:

  • Infections: sore throats, cold, bronchitis, pneumonia, earache, flu
  • Gastroenterological conditions: food poisoning, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Asthma/allergies: seasonal allergies, hives, diarrhea
  • Orthopedic issues: arthritis, tendonitis, gout, sprains, contusions
  • Skin conditions: rashes, poison ivy, eczema, shingles
  • Other: elevated blood pressure, lacerations (on-site stitches) and sports physicals

Fast and convenient urgent care is available at AdventHealth Medical Group Urgent Care at Calhoun located at 100 Hospital Court. An appointment is never needed, and health care providers are on-site 7-days-a-week. The clinic’s hours are Monday through Friday, 8 am to 7:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday, 8 am to 4:30 pm.

Your Primary Care Physician

Visit your doctor for illnesses such as:

  • Colds, flu and sore throats
  • Minor injuries
  • Aches and pains
  • Routine health exams/check-ups
  • Follow-up visits

As the saying goes, no one knows you like your family doctor. He or she knows your medical history, current medications, blood pressure, blood tests, previous illnesses and has them right there on file. Your doctor knows if you've had a bad reaction to an antibiotic, can talk about issues affecting your life and health and can review your latest medical test results with you.

“For most medical situations, your doctor is your gateway to the most appropriate type of care,” said Dr. Balboa. “They can direct you to a specialist, hospital or the type of care that is most appropriate.”

If you need a family physician, visit to see the AdventHealth network of primary care providers.

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