Did you sustain an injury from work or sports and need immediate care? When you need immediate healthcare services, you can choose to go to an urgent care center or an emergency room.
You may think there isn’t much difference between the two, but the small differences mean everything. Here are some tips to help you decide between going to an urgent care center and an emergency room next time you need immediate care.
Benefits of an Urgent Care Center
Both urgent care centers and emergency rooms have licensed doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers ready to help patients of all ages. However, if you go to an urgent care center for non-life-threatening injuries and conditions, you will receive a faster medical response. Emergency rooms will prioritize those with crucial conditions.
Because emergency rooms are always in high demand, they may offer services at higher rates. Thus, going to an urgent care enter instead of an emergency room can help you cut some unwanted and unnecessary costs. Likewise, going to an urgent care center reduces emergency room crowding, ensuring that the patients who need life-saving care the most receive it quickly.
Opting for an urgent care center may aid in avoiding witnessing traumatic experiences. Accidents, crucial illnesses, and life-threatening situations are the norms of emergency rooms. If you need help for your bruised kid or your common cold, emergency rooms may cause unnecessary stress and fear.
How to Choose Between the Two
With the benefits of urgent care centers, you should consider finding one you would go to in case of minor emergencies. Here are tips on how to know what kind of medical care center you should visit.
Is Your Condition Life-Threatening?
Before seeking urgent care, you have to assess whether your condition is life-threatening or not. Life-threatening situations require the care of emergency room health providers. Life-threatening conditions include, but are not limited to:
- Seizures, unconsciousness, or unresponsiveness
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Slurred speech, sudden numbness, facial droop, and other stroke symptoms
- Severe allergic reaction
- Deep cuts and major burns or injuries
- Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy
The cases above do not cover all possible emergency instances. So, once you experience life-threatening symptoms, rush to the nearest emergency room for help.
On the other hand, non-life-threatening conditions require medical attention, but you don’t have to go to an emergency room. Urgent care centers can help treat your medical concerns. The following are some non-life-threatening conditions and symptoms that an urgent care center can address:
- Minor cuts and lacerations
- Fever or flu symptoms
- Cough or colds
- Nausea and vomiting
- Mild asthma attacks
- Back pain
- Skin rashes
- Acid reflux
- Minor burns
- Animal bites
- Sprains and strains
What Services Will You Need?
Usually, emergency rooms have all types of tests and medical resources. Emergency rooms have access to resources such as X-rays, CT scans, blood tests, urinalyses, and EKG.
Urgent care centers also offer diagnostic and lab tests, as well as physicals and immunization services. However, some urgent care centers may have limited facilities. It’s vital that you quickly check their available services before you choose which medical care center to visit.
When Do You Need Medical Care?
The exact time when you need medical care also matters in deciding where you should go. Urgent care centers are usually open until the late hours of the night, while emergency rooms are accessible 24/7.
Most urgent care centers can accommodate you until early evening. Some conditions can wait until the next morning. You can avoid the hassle of going to and waiting in an emergency room in the middle of the night. However, if symptoms become too unbearable, you may want to consider going to an emergency room instead.
Urgent Care Center in North Richland Hills, TX
Non-life-threatening conditions, such as minor cuts and asthma attacks, also need immediate medical care. However, going to an emergency room may require some waiting time and extra costs. To avoid this, you can visit an urgent care center and still receive timely and quality treatment.
If you require urgent care services, don’t hesitate to visit us at EMC Express Care in North Richland Hills, Texas. We are open every day from 10 am to 8 pm. For questions and concerns, please call us at (817) 503-8800 or check-in online to let us know you are coming. We look forward to serving you!