The ER vs Urgent Care Which One Should You Go To?

Stomach pain

In recent years, the walk in urgent care clinic has become one of the best places to get effective treatment for a wide variety of medical needs. When you’re in urgent need of medical care, however, you may wonder which are the reasons to go to the emergency room and which are reasons to go to urgent care. The best way to know where to get effective treatment when a medical need arises is to think about it in advance.

  • Understand the difference between the ER and an urgent care medical clinic. The terms “emergency” and “urgent” often mean something very similar in common usage. When used to talk about medical needs, they both imply that someone needs medical help and they need that help quickly. Basically, the urgent care clinic is there for when you’ve become sick or had an injury that you would feel comfortable going to your primary care doctor for. Doctors’ offices are often closed after hours, and it can be inconvenient to get appointments when you need them. That’s when the urgent care center is the best choice. The emergency room is designed to give effective treatment for life-threatening injuries or extremely complex medical situations.
  • When should you choose the emergency room? The emergency room is for anything that seems life-threatening. If you’re having any symptoms of a heart attack, such as persistent chest pain with sweating or vomiting, you should go to the ER. The same is true if you have trouble speaking and keeping your balance or have paralysis, or if you have sudden and severe pain or changes in your vision. Go to the ER if you’ve been in a serious accident or have clearly broken a bone, or if you have deep cuts that will require multiple stitches. You’ll get the most effective treatment at the ER if you are contemplating suicide or have confusion, if you have a serious burn, or if you have injuries to your head or eyes. These are some of the symptoms of serious and complex emergencies that require emergency room expertise.
  • When should you choose one of the urgent care clinics? The walk in clinic is the perfect place for effective treatment of medical issues that need help right away, but which are not life-threatening emergencies. Many people who visit the urgent care do so because their doctor’s office is closed. You should consider urgent care if you have a sore throat, ear pain, vomiting, sprains or minor cuts and burns, need treatment for the flu, or have a fever without a rash. It’s also possible to get routine exams, STD tests, and treatment for minor infections at most urgent care centers.

Wherever you go for medical care, be sure to take a list of all medications you are taking, including vitamins. You should also be ready to explain any allergies you have and know about any surgeries that have been performed on your previously. This will help any doctor or medical professional to give you the most effective treatment. The next time you need non-emergency medical care, go to an urgent care center for effective treatment.

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