Things You Should Know About Urgent Care Vs. Emergency Room Visits

18 May 2015
 Categories: , Blog

When it comes to getting medical care outside of a normal visit to your physician, you typically have two options -- a visit to the emergency room or a visit to an immediate care center, also known as an urgent care center or same day clinic. These two medical options are pretty similar, but have some key differences that you'll need to keep in mind. You'll have to consider a few factors when deciding which one to go to. If you want to know what characteristics pertain to immediate care centers, consider some of the following information.

Urgent Care Centers Deal With Pressing Health Issues, Which Are Not Life Threatening Or Majorly Traumatic

The first thing you'll need to think about is what type of medical incidents dictate going to urgent care, as opposed to emergency care. There are a few key differences in the type of incidents that necessitate emergency care over urgent care. For instance, things like serious chest pain, shortness of breath, large cuts and burns are traumatic issues that you need to refer to the emergency room. Some issues that are urgent, which are better handled by immediate care centers include pain when you urinate, diarrhea or strains and sprains. 

Urgent Care Centers Handle Some Of The Same Issues As Emergency Rooms, But Much Faster

If you have medical issues that either the emergency room or urgent care can handle, such as a broken finger, you should consider going to urgent care if you don't want to wait as long. The reason for this is that emergency rooms will always see the most serious conditions first, so the less life threatening your issue is, the longer you an expect to wait. However, urgent care is always first come, first served, so you will be able to be seen by a doctor much sooner. 

Urgent Care Centers Typically Cost A Lot Less

Chances are, you have heard horror stories about patients being charged astronomical bills for routine emergency room visits. These bills quickly and easily reach the thousands, which is another reason why urgent care may be more prudent. If your issue is not life threatening or severe, you can save plenty of money by going to an urgent care facility instead. When matched with your insurance plan, you'll typically pay a small co-pay, as opposed to a large bill. 

Consider all of these factors as you look to get the medial care that you need in the future.