Accidents happen every day. Some people slip on a wet floor, and fall on an outstretched hand and break their wrist; others end up twisting their ankles while trying to jump over a puddle. Some get into car collisions or simply wake up in the middle of the night with high fever. No matter what happens, getting sick or injured at some point in life is a certainty, regardless of your age, gender, or race. When you get hurt or sick, you would like to get professional help as soon as possible. However, sometimes going to the nearest hospital to seek medical attention isn’t the best option. Even if something hurts a lot, it’s worth slowing down for a minute, collecting your thoughts and then deciding which place is most appropriate for you. In today’s article, we reveal the core differences between an urgent care center and an emergency room so that next time you need to choose, you will be able to make a reasoned choice.
What are the key differences between an Urgent Care and an Emergency Room?
Before you decide if you should visit an emergency room or whether an urgent care will be sufficient, you need to familiarize yourself with the main differences between these two. Urgent care centers are a kind of substitute for when your primary care physician is not available when you get sick or injured. All the concerns that you would address with your PCP can be handled at urgent care. Emergency Rooms are better equipped to deal with life-threatening and catastrophic needs.
Another important difference is the time it takes to receive medical help. If you go to an Emergency Room, and your condition is indeed life-threatening, then you will be prioritized higher on the list of patients. Unfortunately, if it turns out that you are suffering from injuries that aren’t life-threatening, you may be forced to spend several hours in the waiting room before you see a physician. If you seek help at a walk-in urgent care center, like Lifeguard Urgent Care Center in Spring Hill, however, you will likely wait up to 30 minutes to be seen.
Last but not least is the expense. Urgent care centers charge less for their services than ERs do. If you choose the ER for something minor, you may wind up with an extremely high bill for your short visit there. It’s worth keeping in mind that urgent care centers accept most insurance, which will additionally decrease the overall cost of your treatment.
When should you visit Urgent Care?
Whenever you require immediate medical attention, and you are suffering from a non-life-threatening issue, a visit to urgent care is your best option. Among the medical conditions that we see most frequently at Lifeguard Urgent Care Center in Spring Hill are:
- Back pain
- Ear infections
- Cold and flu
- Urinary tract infections
- Auto accident-related pain or Injuries
- Symptomatic High Blood Pressure
- Sports-related Injuries
- Mild burns
- Cuts that may require stitches
- Persistent diarrhea or vomiting
- Sore throat
- Nose bleeds
- Mild asthma attacks
- Skin rashes
- Insect bites
Keep in mind that at urgent care centers, you can also receive necessary shots, Pap smears, various physicals and drug screenings.
When should you go to the ER?
As mentioned before, the ER is your best bet for any emergencies that are life-threatening. Sometimes minutes may save your life. You should instantly head for an emergency room if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Chest pains
- Difficulty breathing
- Sudden heart palpitations
- Severe abdominal pain
- Major head injury
- Severe burns
- Broken bone (when the fracture is open or requires resetting)
- High fever
- Severe asthma attack
- Deep cuts
- Sudden severe headache
- Shortness of breath
- Uncontrollable bleeding
Lifeguard Urgent Care Center in Spring Hill – more information
Lifeguard Urgent Care Center in Spring Hill treats patients in Hernando County. Our core approach is all about delivering professionalism and compassion while providing cost-savings, convenience and immediate attention for patients. The practice is open after business hours seven days per week, with no appointment necessary. All major insurance plans are accepted, as well as most secondary insurance plans, worker’s comp and many more!