When a medical emergency happens, it’s not always clear who you should turn to for help. Deciding between going to an urgent care clinic or the emergency room can be difficult. Both facilities provide different levels of care, so there are certain situations where you may receive more appropriate treatment in one over the other. Learn the differences between urgent care and the ER below.
An urgent care facility is suited for non-emergency situations and issues that happen outside of normal business hours. If something happens and you can’t wait to see your primary doctor, or if you don’t have one, an urgent care facility can treat you. For example, if you have a minor allergic reaction late at night, you can head to an urgent care facility to receive quicker treatment rather than wait at an ER.
Medical problems that need treatment but that aren’t considered emergencies might include:
- Moderate cold or flu-like symptoms
- Sprains, strains, and minor fractures
- Small cuts that need stitches
- Pulled muscles
- Vomiting or diarrhea
Overall, urgent care facilities are excellent resources for immediate, less expensive treatment when you aren’t able to see your primary care physician.
Conditions that require immediate or advanced treatment should be evaluated in an ER. Health emergencies might include severe symptoms such as:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Head trauma or eye injury
- Severe bleeding
- Stroke symptoms (sudden paralysis, confusion, slurred speech, numbness)
- Appendicitis, pancreatitis, or a gallbladder attack
- Broken bones or severe cuts
These are signs of serious conditions that can threaten your life, so it’s best to seek treatment at an ER as soon as possible. If you’re unsure whether your condition is considered an emergency, play it safe and go to an ER. If your symptoms are minor, an urgent care visit may be faster and more cost-effective.
If you’re searching for reliable, quality health care in the Bronx, NY, HDR Healthcare Network will help. The professionals offer high-quality care for patients of all ages. From pediatrics to adult medicine, this facility provides comprehensive care, including wellness exams, sports physicals, urgent care, and senior care. Call (718) 617-2500 to schedule an appointment or visit them online to browse their services.