Urgent Care vs ER Questions and Answers
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If you require urgent medical attention that cannot wait until the next available appointment slot at your primary care clinic, it may be instinctual to go to the emergency room. However, while there are times when an emergency room visit is absolutely necessary, there are other times when an urgent care clinic may be more beneficial. In such circumstances, our doctors at AFC Urgent Care would be happy to see you!
Is Urgent Care faster than ER?
Urgent care is typically a faster option than emergency rooms for individuals who are dealing with medical concerns that are not life-threatening. Although urgent care clinics conduct patient evaluations for each patient upon their arrival at the clinic, as do emergency rooms, they do not see patients whose medical concerns are life-threatening, unlike emergency rooms. As a result, urgent care clinics can see patients on a first-come, first-served basis with much more regularity than emergency rooms. In doing so, urgent care clinics can see patients with medical concerns that are not life-threatening much more efficiently and quicker than emergency rooms.
What is the difference between urgent care and emergency care?
The main difference between urgent care clinics and emergency rooms concerns the level of care that each medical facility can provide. While urgent care clinics provide medical care for individuals experiencing urgent but not life-threatening medical concerns, they are not sufficiently equipped to handle life-threatening medical emergencies. In contrast, emergency rooms are the only medical facility besides intensive care units (ICUs) that can provide care for individuals dealing with a life-threatening medical emergency room. With that being said, urgent care clinics and emergency rooms are similar in that both medical facilities accept walk-in appointments, are often open on weekends, and have longer open hours than primary care clinics.
Is it better to go to urgent care or ER?
While urgent care clinics are the better option for individuals dealing with urgent medical concerns that are not life-threatening, emergency rooms are always the better option for individuals dealing with life-threatening medical emergencies. Consequently, if you are wondering whether it is better to go to an urgent care clinic or emergency room for your medical concern, the answer to that question will vary according to the severity of your medical concern.
With that in mind, some signs that you should visit the emergency room instead of an urgent care clinic include the following:
- Alcohol poisoning or drug overdose
- Anaphylactic shock, which is a severe allergic reaction also known as anaphylaxis
- Compound fractures, which is a type of fracture that occurs when the broken bone pierces through the skin
- Coughing or vomiting up blood
- Deep abrasions (avulsions), cuts, or lacerations with heavy or uncontrollable bleeding
- Extreme or unbearable pain
- Fainting, passing out, or loss of consciousness
- Severe seizures
- Shortness of breath (dyspnea) or struggling to breathe
- Significant chest pain or tightness
- Signs of stroke, such as sudden confusion, droopiness or weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, or vision disturbances
- Third-degree burns or worse
What are some benefits of going to an urgent care instead of an ER?
For medical concerns that are not life-threatening, there are numerous benefits of visiting an urgent care clinic rather than an emergency room for patients and doctors alike. For patients, visiting an urgent care clinic instead of an emergency room will save both time and money, as emergency room services are typically more expensive than those at an urgent care clinic. For emergency room doctors, fewer patients with non-life-threatening medical concerns visiting an emergency room will enable them to focus more on individuals dealing with life-threatening medical emergencies.
For more information about urgent care services or an appointment at AFC Urgent Care, we welcome you to call us, schedule an appointment through our website, or visit us at 1440 Main Street in Dunedin, FL, for a walk-in appointment.