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Working Together When Emergency Care is Needed

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Working Together When Emergency Care is Needed

We have all been in, or heard of medical situations where care just can’t wait for a clinic appointment. That’s where CCH’s Urgent and Emergent Services (UES) work together to help provide the best outcomes in the most appropriate care setting for patients. UES is a long name for the emergency department, emergency medical services (EMS), and the Walk-in Clinic at Campbell County Health.

The care collaboration between EMS and the emergency department seems pretty straightforward: 911 is called in an emergency and the ambulance crew provides medical care while transporting patients to the hospital. But did you know that while the ambulance is en route, doctors and nurses are already communicating with the EMS crew so everyone is ready when the patient arrives? With modern technology, a doctor can literally be on the scene of an accident or medical emergency by phone or radio to begin directing care.

Most people will rarely, if ever, call 911, and it can be a very nerve-wracking experience. UES Director Chris Beltz has some advice to help communicate more clearly if you ever have to call 911:

  • Take a deep breath and try to stay calm.

  • Tell the dispatcher exactly what happened. Tell them about the patient: is the person conscious, bleeding, not breathing?

  • How many people are involved?

  • What is the location you’re calling from?


These simple tips can make sure that caregivers have as much information as possible about a patient before they arrive at the hospital.

How does the Walk-in Clinic work with the emergency department? The Walk-in Clinic (WIC) is a separate clinic for patients who need to be seen for urgent medical problems that need to be addressed quickly, but are not life-threatening. The WIC is open every day and is located directly across from the emergency department, which is open 24/7. Sometimes a patient chooses to go to the Walk-in Clinic, but really needs emergency care, perhaps not even realizing how sick they actually are. When this happens, the patient is moved to the emergency department, which has the staff and equipment to treat life-threatening injuries and illness.

For Chris, this list includes:

  • Chest pain

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • Uncontrolled bleeding or significant injuries

  • Stroke symptoms, such as sudden confusion or numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg


Patients always have a choice for where they receive care, but helping patients choose the most appropriate care setting is one of Chris’ goals for his departments.

“Care in the emergency department is almost always more expensive than in the Walk-in Clinic because it has all the staff and resources needed to treat a major trauma, like those from a serious car crash,” says Chris. “The Walk-in Clinic is great for urgent needs, like falls and strains, skin rashes and infections, abdominal pain, cold and flu symptoms, mild burns, and mild sports or work injuries.”

Departments working together to provide quality care at CCH aren't limited to just UES.

“The Walk-in Clinic is designed for urgent care needs,” says Chris. “But there are some very good reasons for patients to see a primary care provider at one of our clinics if that visit can wait. For example, your complete health history is available for the provider to review, and they understand how it may affect the symptoms you’re having when you make your appointment. If you have a chronic condition like asthma or diabetes, that health history can make a big difference in your treatment plan.”

Many Campbell County Medical Group (CCMG) clinics have same day appointments available, and both the Walk-in Clinic and the emergency department are happy to provide information on CCMG’s Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and Pediatric providers, or you can search the Find a Doctor feature on the CCH website.
  • Category: CCH News, CCMG News, CCMH News