Learning When to Seek Urgent or Emergency Care

Throughout life, you’ll never know when a medical situation can happen. During these times, you’re going to be more concerned with seeking treatment instead of where to receive it. Considering that, it makes sense to take time and learn about what separates an emergency room from an urgent care facility. In this post, you’ll learn how to tell the difference between emergency rooms and urgent care facilities.

Learning About the Differences Between Urgent and Emergency Care

It’s incredibly understandable to be confused about urgent and emergency care. Many people believe that these facilities are one in the same. However, this is not true. Learning the differences between urgent and emergency care is likely to save you a lot of time and hassle the next time you need medical treatment. With that in mind, here are three main differences between an urgent care facility and the emergency room.

Severity of Medical Situation

This is one of the most important differences between urgent and emergency care. You’ll want to seek immediate emergency services when dealing with severe shortness of breath, major blood loss, and life threatening wounds. In addition, you’ll want to get to an emergency room if you’re suspecting feelings of a stroke or heart attack.

Urgent care facilities are visited when you need care for a wide variety of situations. These ailments commonly include treatment of sprains, cuts, and rashes. In fact, statistics show that 25,000 people in the United States suffer from a sprained ankle each day. For instance, a severe bone break would likely require a visit to the emergency room while a sprained ankle could be taken care of in an urgent care facility.

Cost Differences

One main difference between urgent and emergency care is the bill you’re likely to receive. This doesn’t mean that emergency room care is overpriced, it’s that people often confuse where they need treatment. In fact, statistics from Milliman found that anywhere between 44-65% of all emergency room visits could have been treated at an urgent care clinic.

Emergency rooms are able to offer fast treatment for life threatening conditions. That being said, this means that you’ll often pay more. If you want to avoid an expensive care bill, it’s best to visit an urgent care center. This is especially true for those who need care without any type of health insurance.

Time Concerns

Imagine that you are dealing with a severe flu. You feel shaky, tired, and achy. Consider that, you would want to get to a medical facility and receive care as fast as possible. The faster you’re seen, the faster you can receive medication.

If you visit an emergency room with the flu, you might not be seen for hours. There is no way to predict when your local emergency room could be dealing with extremely intensive procedures. In addition, there might be other people who didn’t visit a nearby urgent care with the flu. Considering all of that, you’re going to be waiting a long time to receive treatment. On the other hand, urgent care centers can efficiently treat patients with severe but not life threatening ailments.

In closing, it makes sense to feel confused about whether to seek urgent or emergency care. The main difference to keep in mind is that emergency rooms treat life threatening situations while urgent care can usually treat everything else. Urgent care facilities are certainly popular throughout the United States. In fact, statistics show that nearly 3 million people visit urgent care centers throughout the United States each week.

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