After Hours Provider or Emergency Room - How to Decide?

After Hours Provider or Emergency Room - How to Decide?

How can I speak with a provider or get assistance with urgent health needs when the office is closed?

At Benson Health, we understand that your health care needs do not always come up during our office hours.

If you call our office number 919-894-2011 after office hours, you will reach a representative from our answering service who can put you in contact with one of our providers.

The on-call provider may not be your usual provider, however our on-call provider will address your needs and communicate with your regular provider once normal business hours resume.

Examples of reasons to call our on-call provider:

  • Medication side effects
  • Symptoms which started after an injection or procedure
  • Sudden worsening of chronic medical problems like asthma, heart failure, diabetes
  • New symptoms which are concerning to you
  • Minor injuries
  • Concerns about how to take a new medication prescribed for you
  • Unexpected difficulty getting a medication your provider has prescribed for you
  • If you are wondering if you need to be seen at an urgent care center or emergency room

When should I go to the emergency department?

We at Benson Health want to help you stay healthy and avoid unnecessary expenses. Care in the emergency department is much more expensive than care in our office. In general, emergency room care should only be for conditions that place you at risk for severe consequences or even death if not addressed immediately.

Examples of reasons to go to the emergency room immediately:

  • Persistent chest pain/chest pressure
  • Trouble breathing
  • Passing out
  • If you are in a serious motor vehicle accident
  • Struck by lightning
  • Severe or worsening shortness of breath
  • Stroke symptoms, including:
    • sudden weakness or numbness on one side of your body
    • inability to speak or slurred speech
    • loss of vision
  • Severe headache especially the “worst headache of your life” or headache with fever
  • Bleeding which cannot be controlled by applying pressure for 10 minutes
  • Sudden onset of confusion/inability to wake up or respond to others
  • Injury with obvious deformity/uncontrolled pain
  • New seizures or continuous seizures
  • Sudden confusion
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Poisoning or overdose of drugs or alcohol
  • Severe allergic reaction

If you do not have any of these issues but feel you may need to go to the emergency department, please call 919-894-2011. During office hours, our triage staff can talk to you and see how we can get you the help you need. After office hours, one of our providers is always available to speak to you and help you determine how to get the help you need then.