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2 | Health Matters: Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center W hen you or someone you know requires medical attention right away, you might think the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center emergency room is the best place to turn. But the ER has a limited number of beds and staff, and wait times can be long for patients who do not have an urgent medical condition, such as trouble breathing or chest pain. To ease the burden of long wait times and cost, Providence Saint Joseph provides two other sources of care for patients: urgent care clinics and Providence ExpressCare clinics. (For locations of the nearest ExpressCare and urgent care clinics in your area, go to services/urgent-care.) Here's what you need to know to evaluate your medical needs and then get to the right place for the best, fastest care. EXPRESSCARE CLINICS ExpressCare is the place to go for minor illnesses, such as cold or flu symptoms, rashes, sprains, nausea, asthma, vomiting, diarrhea, strep throat and pink eye. The clinics are conveniently located, including in various Walgreens stores; they continue to expand, with two new openings in Burbank and Glendale. All ExpressCare clinics are open seven days a week, 365 days a year, 12 hours a day—and are staffed by physician assistants and advanced practice nurses, who can perform some screenings and tests. Patients can make an appointment online ( or walk in to schedule a visit. Patients can also use laptops, tablets or smartphones to connect to ExpressCare providers via video visits, without having to leave the comfort of home. There are two new ExpressCare locations near Saint Joe's: Burbank: 1028 S. San Fernando Blvd. Glendale: 105 E. Glenoaks Blvd. (opening late summer 2021) URGENT CARE CLINICS Providence Saint Joseph urgent care clinics are typically staffed by doctors with special training in urgent-care needs, such as burns, minor wounds, sprains and fractures, abdominal pain and earaches. The same basic care is provided here as in ExpressCare clinics, with additional services, such as providing IV fluids and performing basic X-rays. Some urgent care clinics are also capable of performing advanced imaging. THE EMERGENCY ROOM Head to the emergency room if you or someone you know is suffering from severe injury, stroke symptoms, consistent chest pain, severe breathing problems or bleeding. Often, emergency room staffs are strained by the number of patients who arrive with non-emergency conditions but who need attention during off-hours. The average cost of an emergency room visit is $1,200, and wait times can be hours long—so make the trip only for acute emergencies or grave illnesses. Where to Get the Right Care When you need immediate medical attention, where should you go? New options are available besides the emergency room. Here's where to go to get the best care.

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