Medical needs and emergencies can occur at any time in anybody’s life and during that time, people should know how to deal with them. The most important thing to know is where is the closest, most skilled and fastest Urgent Care Center you can reach.
Unfortunately, no one can predict what is going to happen to them or someone near them at any moment. After all, we are human and injuries and illnesses can occur within seconds. No matter what it is, medical attention is usually required. The more severe it is the more cautious we would have to be towards ensuring it does not worsen. Depending on the severity of the injury or illness it’s best to seek Urgent Care. You can either, visit an emergency room, which typically has long wait times and significantly higher costs or you can simply Google “urgent care near me” using your smartphone.
In order to decide the best option, you should understand the difference between an Urgent Care Clinic and Emergency Room. Let’s review some information on both.
Urgent Care Clinics
Also known as Walk-In Clinics, these medical facilities, which are smaller than emergency room center, offer immediate care for all non-emergency medical needs. For instance, if the illness or injury of a person is not critical and or non-life-threatening, he or she can receive the personalized treatment, save money and lots of time by getting the treatment when visiting an urgent care clinic.
Urgent care clinics provide convenience and professional care. The services here are provided by an osteopathic or allopathic physician, both of whom hold complete training in diagnosing as well as treating different disorders and illnesses.
Most of the urgent care facilities are open 7days a week, hours range from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. However, most close earlier on weekends. Once, again, knowing whether to go to an urgent care clinic depends upon the signs and severity of the patient’s condition. Some of the common injuries and illnesses which don’t require a visit to emergency rooms and can be easily treated at urgent care clinics are:
- Eye, ear or sinus pain and infections
- Cold, flu or allergy
- Insect Bites
- Broken bones – hand, wrist, foot or ankle
- Minor burns or cuts
- Urinary tract infection
- Minor pain in the back
- A minor headache
- Minor infection
The wait time at Urgent Care Clinics is significantly less in comparison to emergency rooms. If you go to an emergency room for the treatment of any of the above-mentioned medical conditions, you will find the wait time is much longer and the care and attention are not very personalized. Not to mention, ERs typically do not have enclosed rooms for patients, so privacy is very limited.
What’s more to consider, is the cost. The fee when visiting an Urgent Care Center is typically the same as visiting any primary care doctor. Most Urgent Care Centers are becoming more preferred than a primary care doctor due to the convenience, cost, comprehensive services and advanced equipment available at an Urgent Care. Primary care doctors can only perform an initial diagnosis and prescribe prescription drug medicine. Now, in most cases, if you need an X-Ray, blood test, urinalysis, cast or more advanced medical services you would need to obtain a referral to another medical facility that provides these type of services. Yes, that is a lot of time and effort spent. Therefore, an Urgent Care Clinic is by far the best choice for all-in-one medical treatment and analysis services whereby a primary care doctor cannot provide.
No matter what, the cost comparison between the fees charged by an emergency room and Urgent Care center is significantly different. Urgent Care Center, allow you to save time and money. Moreover, Urgent Care Clinics accept most insurance companies.
Now, let’s discuss Emergency Room services. ERs provide care for life-threatening and emergency medical needs. However, obtaining immediate care depends on the condition of the patient and the severity of the injury or illness. Patients experiencing life-threatening symptoms such as a heart attack or stroke, head trauma, wounds to vital organs and or similar injuries should not waste time and immediately go to the nearest emergency room.
All emergency rooms are open 24 hours a day. If you feel that you or your loved ones are in a life-threatening situation, do not delay call 911 or get an emergency room right away. While urgent care clinics have comprehensive facilities to diagnose and treat some injuries or illnesses, the emergency rooms have the equipment and staff to perform surgical procedures and also have intensive care units (ICU) which allow for continuous monitoring of patients 24 hours a day. ER facilities are made to save the lives of people who suffer from a traumatic medical condition, injury or illness.
Let’s explore some of the most common issues that are best cared for in an emergency room:
- Unstoppable bleeding
- Spine or neck injury
- Persistent High fever
- Suicidal thoughts
- Electric shock
- Head injury
- Uncontrollable diarrhea or vomiting
- Alcohol or drug overdose
- Major burns
- Heart attack
- Severe allergic reactions
- Vomiting or coughing blood
- Deep Wounds
- Broken bones which have ruptured the skin
- Excessive pain in any part of the body
- Any serious injury
In the event that you or someone you know has one or more of the aforementioned conditions, it’s likely that you will receive immediate attention and care at ER. However, if your condition is not life-threatening, visit your nearest Urgent Care Center. You can simply Walk-In with no appointment is required. And of course, when it comes to obtaining medical service, cost should not be an issue. However, there is a significantly lower cost when treating any ailments while at an Urgent Care Clinic compared to an Emergency Room visit.
These are just a few differences between an Urgent Care Clinic and Emergency Rooms; you can find more facts online or calling your nearest Urgent Care Clinic or Emergency Room for more information.