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Urgent Care Vs. ER – How To Know Which One You Need

 |  General

Knowing the difference between urgent care and the ER is essential during those moments where you need medical attention fast.

Urgent Care centers are perfect for most non-emergency situations, but most people don’t know what makes urgent care different from an emergency room.

Let’s consider a more in-depth breakdown of the two, and which are best suited to address certain specific medical needs.

 

When to Go to Urgent Care

Here are a few medical needs you can address through an urgent care facility:

  • X Rays – If you fall, hit your chest, or otherwise hurt your body and might need an X-ray, you can get it at an urgent care facility. Typically, Chest x-rays and x-rays of hands, arms or legs are body parts are can usually be imaged at an urgent care.
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea – An urgent care facility can help you understand why you’re experiencing these mild symptoms and give you treatment options.
  • Bumps, cuts & scrapes – Mild bumps, cuts, and scrapes can be addressed on the spot, as well as recommend at-home care options.
  • Vaccinations – Urgent care facilities provide many vaccinations, especially those that need to be immediately administered after an event, such as a tetanus shot.
  • Cough, cold or flu symptoms – Mild colds, coughs, or sore throats are more easily addressed at an urgent care facility than an ER.
  • Stitches – Even if you have a deeper cut that may require stitches, urgent care facilities can clean and stitch the wound.
  • Lab services – If you don’t feel well and don’t understand why you can go to an urgent care facility for additional lab tests.
  • Allergies – Allergies can be addressed at an urgent care facility as long as the reaction is non-life-threatening.
  • Rashes – If you have an unexplained rash and cannot visit a dermatologist, you can find the appropriate medical attention at an urgent care facility.
  • Minor burns – For example, if hot oil gets on your hand while cooking and the injury isn’t extensive, an urgent care facility can help you address this type of burn.
  • Burning with urination – urine samples can be obtained and treatment for urinary tract infections can be done at an urgent care.

When to Go to the ER

Emergency rooms are perfect for emergency situations.  If you have a life-threatening condition, go straight to the nearest emergency room. The following situations are better addressed through ER services

  • Severe bleeding – If the cut is deep and there is a lot of blood, you need to visit the ER immediately to stop the bleeding and access additional treatment.
  • Chest pain – Chest pain requires immediate investigation at an ER to see why you’re experiencing this symptom.
  • Difficulty breathing – this is often a life-threatening symptom that requires immediate expert care.
  • Head trauma – requires head scans and monitoring to assess the extent of the trauma, as well as establish the appropriate treatment plan.
  • Loss of vision – can be a symptom of a much serious condition and requires further investigation.
  • Stroke – requires immediate medical attention to minimize the potential damages to your health, which often leads to hospitalization.
  • Heart attack – will require extensive tests to find the best treatment plan, in some cases even emergency surgery.
  • Loss of consciousness – especially if unexplained, loss of consciousness is best addressed at the ER.

Over to You

Going to the right facility is essential to making sure you get the best possible care for your medical needs. Bayless Healthcare here to assist you in addressing different needs, from primary care to behavioral and mental wellness, and even virtual care. Bayless health care can provide the same care that an urgent care can provide.  Take advantage of the convenience of your local Bayless facility.

If you are looking for a reputable medical provider with a compassionate team of healthcare experts, please reach out to us today online and tell us more about your medical needs.