When you have been injured, you may wonder where you should go for immediate care – an urgent care center or an emergency room (ER) at a hospital. While a walk-in clinic offers benefits like faster service, an ER is equipped to handle serious injuries that could be life-threatening.
So, how do you know which one should handle your particular injury? Let’s talk about how you can quickly decide whether to go to a walk-in clinic or to the emergency room, and where you can find an urgent care center right here in the North Richland Hills area.
Consider Whether the Injury Is Life-Threatening
Life-threatening emergencies, such as after being in a car accident (whereby you will be too fazed to determine whether you have any injuries at all), having a heart attack, or suffering a severe allergic reaction, warrant going to the emergency room. However, virtually anything else can be handled by the skilled medical team at a walk-in clinic.
A walk-in clinic can treat superficial skin burns that do not go deep into the muscle and bone. First- and second-degree burns affect the outer layers of the skin.
With first-degree burns, you have pain and visible skin redness. Second-degree burns may also include blistering of the skin. Burns which are more serious than that – ones that include numbness, black or white skin, or exposure of the muscle or bone underneath – require hospital treatment.
Broken Bones or Dislocated Joints
The medical team at a walk-in clinic can assess and treat a potential bone fracture if it has not broken through the skin. Bruising, swelling, and severe pain are symptoms of a broken bone, and a walk-in clinic staff can take X-rays and put a cast on the area.
However, if the broken bone is penetrating through your skin, or if the bone is creating a visible bone or joint deformity, you’ll require emergency care at a hospital.
Cuts and Lacerations
Shallower cuts are easily treatable by a walk-in clinic, where the medical staff can perform stitches and other treatments. Most cuts are superficial and are quickly treated at an urgent care center.
On the other hand, if you have a wide cut, or if you have stepped on a nail or another sharp object and it penetrated deep into your foot, you should visit the emergency room. Additionally, if you have a laceration that is deep or exposes the bone or other non-skin structures below, go to the emergency room.
Animal Bites or Insect Stings
If an animal bites you and the injury is relatively superficial, or if you were stung or bitten by an insect but you did not have an allergic reaction (such as problems with breathing), then you can visit a walk-in clinic for prompt treatment and to prevent an infection from developing.
Severe animal bites that cause deep or jarring damage to your tissues should be treated at an emergency room.
Walk-In Clinic in North Richland Hills, Texas
If you or your loved one has sustained a non-life-threatening injury, visit EMC Express Care today for treatment. You can call us at (817) 503-8800 or just walk in during our extended office hours. We look forward to being your family’s go-to medical center.