How to Know if You Need Urgent Care or if You Should Go to the Emergency Room

How to Know if You Need Urgent Care or if You Should Go to the Emergency Room

Sometimes you need to see a doctor and can’t wait for an appointment with your regular physician. In today’s world, you have a choice: You could go to an urgent care center or to the emergency room. How do you know which is best for your situation? 

At Nation’s Best Family Health Care, Dr. Roman Nation and his staff operate an urgent care clinic. You can call us or schedule a consultation online, and get care right away. Sometimes, though, it can be difficult to know if you’ll be better served at our clinic or at a hospital emergency room. 

What we treat 

Nearly everyone has had the experience of needing care soon, but not necessarily immediately. For example, you may twist your ankle, but be unable to tell if it’s broken or sprained. Do you need to rest, or do you need orthopedic care? 

Similarly, cuts, strains, fever, and all sorts of other medical events occur that need professional attention but aren’t life threatening. Those are the kinds of things we treat in the urgent care clinic. 

We can provide X-rays or stitches, and we can help if you have a severe earache or if there’s something in your eye. We can order lab tests and even perform minor surgeries when necessary. 

Sometimes the emergency room is better

If your situation is potentially life-threatening, the emergency room is your best bet. If you have chest pain, you can’t breathe, or you can’t speak or understand what others are saying, we suggest you call 911 or you go immediately to an emergency room. 

ERs have the staff and equipment to treat serious, life-threatening issues quickly, which is good. But, if you have an issue that’s too serious to wait a couple of days but isn’t life-threatening, the ER isn’t the best option for care. 

Advantages of urgent care

There are several advantages to choosing urgent care rather than the emergency room when it’s appropriate. If you go to the emergency room with a cut that may need stitches, but someone else arrives in the midst of a heart attack, you’ll be put farther back in line. That’s because Emergency rooms see people in order of urgency. 

Another reason that urgent care is often a better option is the cost. Emergency rooms are notoriously expensive because it’s costly to have the highest levels of medical expertise and state-of-the-art equipment. If you have a bad stomachache, you don’t necessarily need that level of medical care.

Finally, if you’re one of our regular patients, you have the advantage of having a record of your urgent care visit in your file in our office. That means when you follow up with your primary care provider, they already know what happened and what care you received. 

If you have questions about our urgent care services, or you need care now, give us a call or schedule a consultation online. We’re here to give you the care you need.

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