Do I Need Urgent Or Emergency Care?

Do I Need Urgent Or Emergency Care?

You accidentally fall off the ladder, and there is a sharp pain in your ankle, you are having difficulty walking, and the foot seems to have swollen. You are sure about seeking medical attention but unsure on whether to rush to the urgent care center or an emergency room facility. Both facilities provide quality care but will handle various cases differently. So how do you differentiate the circumstances that require an urgent care center or emergency room?

When Should I Go To The Emergency Room?

Services Offered

The emergency department primarily handles life-threatening emergencies such as fatal head injuries, heart attacks, profuse bleeding, deep cuts, heavy trauma, unconsciousness, broken bones, difficulty breathing, and vaginal bleeding during pregnancy or strokes. These mentioned conditions require advanced and quick treatments such as complex surgeries, from highly qualified medical practitioners. It also means that the medical facility is properly equipped with high-end tools, equipment, and room to handle the emergencies. However, this does not rule out the emergency’s room ability to treat minor medical conditions. Frontline ER provides quality medical care for all patients in need of emergency care regardless of the intensity. 

Medical Experience

There are two major players in the emergency room; trauma surgeons, and emergency medicine specialists. Both doctors have been through intense emergency medicine training and education which helps them respond to emergency conditions rapidly and professionally. Frontline ER has strived to bring in experienced doctors and surgeons to attend to every case with top notch services.

Emergency care departments normally run on a 24/7 cycle which gives all emergencies the surety that the condition will is managed at any given time even during a holiday and throughout the night. The departments run on an emergency basis. Catastrophic conditions are a priority. For example, if you went into an emergency room with the flu, sore throat, minor cut or any medical condition that isn’t life threatening, chances are you will wait a little longer because those patients are coming in with heart attacks and major trauma the first to be treated. This triage practice in emergency rooms may increase your waiting time. However, at FrontLine ER the waiting time is cut to try and handle all conditions as they are.


Also, emergency rooms are quite expensive compared to the urgent care centers. Since the overall medical expenses at the emergency rooms are more expensive compared to walk-in clinics, patients are subjected to dig deeper into their pockets if the medical cover is deductible. None the less, patients coming in with catastrophic illnesses are treated first before looking into payment details.


Emergency rooms are scarce and may require some information about the locations. If the patient needs emergency help, it is advisable to call 911 for help instead of driving yourself or the patient to the emergency room. Moreover, the medics will start a medical procedure from the phone call or in the ambulance which increases the chances of saving a life.

When Should I Go To The Urgent Care Center?

Conditions Handled

A medical is said to be urgent when it needs medical attention although it does not pose a danger to one’s life. It could be flu, sore throat, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, ear pains, minor burns, and strains. The urgent care center provides medical services such as blood testing, alcohol screening, lab work among other simple practices. Unlike the emergency rooms, urgent care centers have limited capabilities. They are only equipped to treat minor conditions. These limitations make an urgent care center not convenient enough to rush an endangered patient.

Physicians’ Qualifications

Since urgent cares are run by physicians who have medical experience and education background, one needs to undergo clinic rotations and a licensing exam to qualify as a physician. Some are also absorbed into residency to gain the experience required to run urgent care centers. Physicians are however not licensed to operate complex conditions and will, therefore, direct you to an emergency room for extensive treatment procedures.

Waiting Time

Most urgent care centers operate on a first come first served basis. Even so, you are likely to see a doctor quicker compared to the emergency room. However, waiting time varies depending on the number of people ahead of you and the kind of treatments they await. None the less, the procedures do not take much time as they are not complex.

Hours Of Operation

Urgency care centers have a general, flexible operation time with some running 24/7 others close earlier while some remain open till late night. Luckily, urgent care centers are in abundance which means if you find your regular center closed, chances are there is one open a few blocks away.

Cost Of Treatments

Urgent care centers are relatively cheaper compared to the emergency rooms merely because the treatments and procedures are not sophisticated. The costs don’t mean that the procedures are not of quality standards. If you have a cold or fever, your insurance will cover the cost of the treatment or even pay less cash compared to when you are in an emergency room.   


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