By Douglas H Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs
What’s the difference between an Urgent Care Clinic (UCC) and an Emergency Room?
Where, when, and why should Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB) beneficiaries go for care?
NHB doctors, nurses, hospital corpsmen and support staff understands that there may still be some confusion associated with the October 1, 2014, change from an Emergency Department to an Urgent Care Clinic.
Beneficiaries should start by trying to make an appointment with their Primary Care provider or Medical Home Port team.
NHB’s Medical Home Port teams deliver basic care for common ailments and illnesses, minor injuries and routine health exams, as well as help every patient manage their health care.
Patients are encouraged to use their Medical Home Port team to schedule appointments for common illnesses such as flu and fever; minor injuries such as sprains and strains; and regular physicals, prescription refills, vaccinations and screenings.
When it’s after hours or on the weekend, and someone’s regular health care provider isn’t available, the Urgent Care Clinic is available for patient’s needs to handle non-life threatening medical concerns and health issues, that do not pose an immediate and serious threat to life or limb.
“If a patient is uncertain, by all means come in to our UCC, and we’ll triage them appropriately.” said Capt. David Collins, Naval Hospital Bremerton Executive Officer.
The Urgent Care Clinic is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for walk-in availability for such needs as; Minor injuries such as strains and sprains, back pain, minor cuts and burns, minor broken bones, and minor work and sport-related injuries.
Common illnesses such as colds, fever and/or flu symptoms, sore throats and coughs/bronchitis; migraines, allergies, rising temperature and rashes.
NHB encourages patients to only use any hospital emergency room for life threatening or serious health problems. Head to an emergency room – or call 911 – immediately if there is someone who could experience serious harm or potentially die without timely medical care for conditions such as chest pain; severe abdominal pain; coughing or vomiting blood; severe burns; deep cuts or bleeding that won’t stop; sudden blurred vision; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; sudden dizziness, weakness or loss of coordination or balance; numbness in the face, arm, leg; sudden severe headache; seizures; high fever(s); or any other condition believed to be life threatening.
Naval Hospital Bremerton is working along with Harrison Medical Center to accommodate every need for emergency care services at the East Bremerton location – 2520 Cherry Avenue, and at the Harrison Silverdale campus – 1800 NW Myhre Road.
Another great resource for patients is the Nurse Advice Line that is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can be reached with a toll-free number at 1-800-874-2273, and then select option one.
For patients who wish to be able to contact their Medical Provider, they can sign up for the free, secure message system RelayHealth on the following links:
Important phone numbers:
TRICARE Regional Appointment Center 1-800-404-4506
United Health Military & Veterans 1-877-988-9378
Pharmacy Refills (360) 475-4217
NHB Primary Care Clinics Family Medicine Clinic (360) 475-4379
Internal Medicine Clinic (360) 475-4206
Pediatric Clinic (360) 475-4216
Branch Health Clinics BHC Bangor (360) 315-4391
BHC Everett (425) 304-4060
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (360) 476-2508