Is It an Emergency? Here’s How to Tell if You Should Go to the ER or an Urgent Care Clinic


Nothing is more difficult than watching someone you love feeling ill or in pain. When they’re hurting, finding the right medical care provider to take care of them quickly can be a tough choice to make. When you ask yourself “is it an emergency or do they need to go to go to an urgent care clinic,” consider the following things.

Understand the Difference Between Emergencies and Ordinary Health Problems

In a situation where the patient, their friends and family, or a caregiver is wondering “is it an emergency,” it’s easy to assume the worst. Before you rush to the ER, consider if the issue really is an emergency. If the person is experiencing something life threatening or they’re having trouble breathing normally, have sudden and severe pain, can’t stop bleeding, or is behaving unusually, it’s probably best to go to the emergency room. If the person is suffering from a severe head cold, sprained their ankle, or have other minor injuries that still need professional attention, an urgent care clinic is the perfect choice.

Are You Looking for a Substitute to Your Normal Healthcare Provider?

Your general practitioner works limited hours and may not always be able to squeeze you or your family in for an appointment. Illnesses, health conditions, and injuries can happen at any time, day or night. If you’re looking for someone to take the place of your general practitioner when they’re unable to help you, an urgent care clinic is ideal. Their doctors can handle everything from writing prescriptions to giving stitches for that bad cut you got while out on the town. If it’s something that your regular doctor could take care of, you probably don’t need to go to the emergency room.

Pick a Facility That Can Handle Both Types of Care

Believe it or not, between 44 and 65% of all emergency room trips could be taken care of at an urgent care clinic, saving you money, stress, and time. However, some of those same injuries could be more properly and quickly addressed by going to an emergency room. Instead of choosing between one or the other when wondering “is it an emergency,” choose a facility that offers both 24 hour emergency care and urgent care. You’ll be taken care of quickly whether the issue should be handled by an emergency room or urgent care doctor.

If you’re asking yourself “is it an emergency,” take the stress out of deciding between an urgent care facility and the emergency room. Choose a 24 hour walk-in clinic that can serve both emergency and non-emergency conditions. This way, you and your loved ones will be cared for no matter what the problem is.

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