A Conversation With Your Family Doctor

Family Physician Advice in a Quick Fix World

An Urgent Care Clinic Versus The Emergency Room

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An Urgent Care Clinic Versus The Emergency Room

Urgent care centers are spreading faster than the common cold. There are now some 9,000 urgent care clinics in the U.S., making them very convenient.

What’s more, these clinics take insurance. If you pay out-of-pocket, it will end up costing about 10 dollars less than a doctor’s office visit or about 400 dollars less than an emergency room visit.

Urgent care centers are for patients on the go. You receive care fast without having to make appointments.

Find out if what you’re experiencing merits a visit to an urgent care clinic.

Urgent care is in fact, emergency care. The National Center for Health Statistics uncovers the truth: that a huge number patients who visit the emergency room do not merit hospital admission. This goes to show that many patients go to the emergency room for minor concerns. And forty-eight percent of those who visited emergency rooms were there because their doctor’s office was closed.

What the data shows is that many people go to the ER to receive after-hours care for minor illnesses or injuries. These people probably are not aware of their other options.

If your illness appears something in the middle of the night or on weekends, and your regular doctor’s office is closed, considering going to an urgent care center.

These centers fill a major gap when you need immediate care, but your doctor is not available.

Urgent Care Clinic Versus The Emergency Room

If you are not comfortable with anyone knowing about your condition and you can assess that it’s not life-threatening, it’s best to wait to discuss with anyone other than your doctor.

If your illness wakes you up in the middle of the night or it happens while you’re running errands during the weekend, know that you can visit an urgent care center.

If it’s something that is not life-threatening, you can visit an urgent care facility. If you see bones coming out or severe bleeding or if you feel like you had a heart attack, then you would need to visit an emergency room.

The emergency rooms are equipped to address limb and life-threatening issues.

urgent care for toothache

To elucidate, you can go to an urgent care facility for the following:

  • Colds
  • Flu
  • A sore throat Earache
  • A toothache
  • Fevers less than 100 degrees
  • Foreign object in eye, ear or nose
  • Migraines
  • Minor burns or bruises
  • Minor fracture
  • Minor allergic reaction
  • Scrapes or minor cuts
  • A sore throat
  • Muscle Sprain
  • Acidic stomach pain
  • Pain when urinating; urinary tract infection
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Back pain
  • Asthma attack
  • Animal Bites

emergency room visit

Go to an emergency room for the following:

  • Persistent and radiating chest pain
  • Sweating, vomiting, and shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Any severe pain
  • Loss of balance
  • Fainting
  • Difficulty speaking or trouble understanding speech and confusion
  • Sudden weakness or paralysis on one side of the face or body
  • Bothersome heart palpitations
  • An intense headache
  • Testicular pain and swelling
  • If your baby has a fever above 100.4 degrees
  • Sudden vision changes: loss or blurred
  • Broken bones
  • Dislocated joints
  • Deep cuts that need sewing shut
  • Head or eye injury
  • Severe flu or cold symptoms
  • High fevers accompanied by a rash
  • Any bleeding during pregnancy
  • Second and third-degree burns
  • Seizures

If you’re experiencing something severe, you should go to an emergency room. Trust your gut – what is it telling you?

While urgent care physicians are not a substitute for your primary care doctor, they are worth a visit if you need immediate care and your doctor is unavailable.

Urgent Care Clinics: Another Option For Patients Who Need Medical Care

Urgent care centers are there for you to meet your needs especially if you are busy, and the problem occurs late at night or during the weekend.

They are spread out and the numbers are continually growing. In fact, they have more presence in some areas than hospitals.

One thing that’s so great about urgent care centers is that they will not give you the feeling of being rushed. Patients report the physicians in urgent care centers to take more time with them and are not pressured to reach a patient quota for the day.

It’s kind of like concierge medicine without the retainer fee. As a patient, you will get attention the moment you walk in the door.

In an urgent care center, you will feel as if everything revolves around you. The physicians will make sure you get the care and attention that you deserve.