It is not uncommon for hospitals in Philadelphia to have a “closed” sign on the Fourth of July because so many people are interested in getting health care on that day. The fact is, urgent care in the United States is quickly disappearing as a result of budget cuts by hospitals and other health care providers. But there is no reason to give up emergency care when it is available.
One of the reasons that hospitals are closed on the Fourth of July is because it is St. Patrick’s Day. Because there is an end of the month, the number of patients who are seeking medical care is typically very high. Doctors will often recommend patients wait until the second week of the month to get treatment. But, the reality is that this is not always possible. Waiting even a few extra days could mean that the person’s condition becomes worse or is already bad enough to justify seeking urgent care. So, if you do need urgent care on the 4th of July, how can you make sure you get the treatment you need?
One way to ensure that you have urgent care available on the 4th of July is to call the hospital the night before. Some hospitals may hold a meeting to discuss patient care on this day. If you do not make this call, it is possible that you will be the only patient in the hospital on that day because there may be a lot of patients who visit the doctor the same day as you do. Waiting until the morning gives you plenty of time to make it to the physician’s office before he or she has to leave work for the day.
Another way to ensure that you have urgent care available on the 4th of July is to be early for your appointment. Many doctors recommend you arrive one to two hours early for your appointment. This allows the doctor more time to examine your health and prescribe an appropriate treatment plan. Many urgent care centers are equipped with triage nurses who are ready to assist patients with any question they may have regarding their care. If you wait until the morning to call for care, you run the risk of not getting the treatment you need.
Even if the doctor’s office is open on the 4th of July, you should still consider making an appointment to be seen directly by the doctor. Since urgent care centers often receive many patients on this day, the staff may be very busy. Even if they are not, the doctor’s office may be closed. In this case, your health is still at risk. You should also consider bringing along a printout from the doctor’s website to give to the receptionist when you arrive.
The next step in making sure you have urgent care available on the 4th of July is to plan ahead. There are some medical issues that are likely to affect you on this day and you want to know about them in advance. Write down any concerns you have for the day and bring along a copy of your medical records. You will also want to bring along a sunscreen and hat since the sun is likely to be very warm for the duration of the day.