The Latest Technology is Found in ERs Section: Specialists are more readily available in ERs
An emergency room doctor can cover everything from burns and broken bones to strokes, heart attacks, and internal bleeding. The specialists needed for these cases are also on staff in ERs. ERs have more advanced technology: Even for minor injuries like a bad sprain or a broken bone, many people prefer an ER because their staff has access to modern medical equipment like CAT scans and MRIs. For some serious injuries, it’s critical that you get treatment quickly; waiting for a specialist appointment could mean life or death. By contrast, urgent care centers will treat your wound or fracture but won’t have state-of-the-art imaging facilities available right away. If you do visit an urgent care center as opposed to an ER, be sure they know what hospital they should send you to if they suspect a serious problem. Minor problems can wait longer than major ones—if there is even any difference at all between an urgent care facility and a regular physician’s office. Any non-emergency issue can usually be handled by your primary physician over time rather than having to visit multiple locations within a short amount of time. Medical histories are kept in one place: A good deal of information can be gleaned just by asking you questions about your history. When you’re visiting different health professionals, however, each one might not understand all aspects of your previous care since only select facts may appear in their records. But if everyone works out of the same location (i.e., an ER), then doctors who may need to treat you later down the line will have access to complete information about your conditions and past treatments without needing copies from other providers first. When dealing with emergencies that require immediate attention regardless of prior medical history, even better!