It’s the weekend and one of your kids wakes up with a fever. The pediatrician isn’t open on Sunday. You’re carrying laundry down the stairs, trip on a pair of shoes someone left in the way and now your ankle is changing colors and swelling like crazy.
These kinds of unexpected illnesses and injuries never happen on a Tuesday morning when you can get into your regular family doctor. So, what do you do?
You know you need to see a doctor but where should you go? Is the problem bad enough for the emergency room? Will I see someone reputable at the local urgent care? Urgent care vs emergency room, which do you choose?
Read on to learn how to decide if your injury or illness should take you straight to the emergency room or for a visit to your local urgent care.
Differences Between Urgent Care and Emergency Room
While both the emergency room and urgent care can provide you with medical assistance, there are some differences.
Both are equipped to handle medical issues with medical doctors and professionals. But the emergency room is equipped to handle every kind of medical issue. They are also better equipped to handle life and death situations.
Emergency rooms will have immediate access to continuing care if surgery or further testing is needed. The emergency room is also open all the time.
Urgent care facilities are more equipped to handle medical issues you might normally see your doctor for, except the doctor’s office is currently closed.
Another key difference is cost. Emergency rooms are almost always going to cost more for a visit than your local urgent care facility.
When To Choose Urgent Care
Urgent care centers like MedNow Urgent Care are great options for when more minors injuries and illnesses. Go to your urgent care facility for care when you need to see a doctor but your physician’s office is not available.
Common reasons to go to urgent care include:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Signs of an ear infection
- Ear or sinus pain
- Sprain and strains
If you need medical care right away but your illness or injury is not life-threatening then an urgent care facility is a good choice.
When To Choose The Emergency Room
The name emergency room should help to guide you when you need a visit to one. If you any medical symptoms that feel or could be life-threatening head straight to the closest emergency room.
Reasons to head to the emergency room might include:
- Chest pain
- Symptoms of heart attack or stroke
- Trouble breathing
- Vision problems
- Severe bleeding
- Head trauma
If you are already under a doctor’s care and your symptoms suddenly escalate or worsen, it might also be a good time to head to the emergency room.
Urgent Care Vs Emergency Room, Which is Best For You?
The good news is that if you are in need of medical attention, you have options. Knowing when to choose urgent care vs emergency room can help you to get the best and most prompt care.
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