An illness or an injury doesn’t have a schedule or an appointment to follow. It happens anytime and often when least expected. It can be a pain in the stomach or a fall while playing football with your friends. Whatever it is, it’s important to have it checked immediately, especially if it’s causing too much discomfort.
Some people, however, don’t know where to seek help when their regular doctor isn’t available. In fact, 48% of patients whose doctors weren’t available when they needed medical attention visited the emergency room (ER) but didn’t have to be admitted. This is because the ER is usually the first place that comes to mind when people need immediate treatment. What many don’t know is that there’s another and more appropriate option. This is where urgent care clinics come in.
The Difference Between ER and Urgent Care Clinic
It might be confusing to differentiate urgent care from emergency service since both indicate an immediate need for treatment. There is, however, a fine line between the two.
Urgent care clinics accept patients with illnesses or injuries that aren’t life threatening. These are usually issues that you would consult with your regular doctor were they available at the time. A pain that doesn’t really endanger your life yet you can’t let another day to pass without having it checked is usually treated at an urgent care clinic.
ERs, on the other hand, operate 24 hours a day. The staff are trained to deal with complex and critical medical issues. Those with life-threatening medical issues like heart attack or traumatic injuries should go to the ER instead of an urgent care clinic.
The key here is knowing your situation and listening to your instincts. If you feel that your injuries or illness are too severe for urgent care, then go straight to the ER.
Symptoms That Urgent Care Can Address
Providers of urgent care deal with a range of health issues that require immediate care but don’t really put your life at risk. Signs that you have to go to a clinic include symptoms such as fever without rash, persistent diarrhea, sore throat, vomiting, ear pain, urinary problems, sprain, shallow cuts, and other minor trauma. Think of urgent care clinics as your best option when you need treatment as soon as possible but your doctor’s office is closed.
Your health is of utmost importance. That’s why when you feel that something’s wrong with your body, you need to get to a clinic right away to prevent the problem from getting worse. Not only will this prevent complications, but it will also fast-track your recovery. It’s important that you know the nearest urgent care clinic where you can find the treatment that you need.
Should You Go to the Emergency Room or Urgent Care?, Scripps.org
What Are the Most Common Urgent Care Conditions?, Urgentcarelocations.com