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Seeking out care when hospital patient load is high

Aspirus Nurse Practitioner Pam Warnke.
Aspirus Nurse Practitioner Pam Warnke.

The respiratory illnesses circulating the Northwoods right all have fairly similar symptoms like a cough, runny nose, or mild fever.

And for the most part, they can be treated the same. Take over-the-counter medicine to treat the fever, drink lots of fluids, and rest.

But if your symptoms worsen or linger, you may need to seek medical assistance.

Knowing whether to go to a walk-in, emergency care, or set an appointment with your primary care provider in person or via telehealth could get you the care you need sooner.

“Because so many people are seeking care we’re seeing a high volume of patients come and that means wait times are longer,” said Pam Warnke, Nurse Practitioner at Aspirus Weston Clinic.

She says anyone with respiratory symptoms that are worsening or have fevers that don’t come down with medication should head to a walk-in clinic.

“These respiratory symptoms are important to be seen for because we like to listen to your lungs with our stethoscope. Similarly, sometimes you may need x-rays or labs, and those need to be done in person,” said Warnke.

Warnke says telehealth visits can be good for things like pink eye, UTIs, or rashes.

But for severe symptoms, you should see emergency care.

“It’s important to seek emergency care if you’re having chest pain, difficulty breathing, or severe pain. Those are things that all need to be seen in the emergency room,” she said.

Warnke says if you’re ever unsure on where to go you can call your primary care clinic. They can walk you through the best fit.

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