Urgent Care vs Emergency Care – What’s the Difference?

Urgent Care vs Emergency Care – What’s the Difference?

If you’re feeling ill or injured, you don’t always have to run to the emergency room. In fact, some non-emergency medical issues can be treated by a physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner at an urgent care center instead of an emergency room. Here’s how these two different healthcare facilities compare.

1) When Should I Use Urgent Care?

When you feel like you need to go to a doctor but it’s not an emergency. If it’s something like running a temperature, abdominal pain, vomiting blood or having difficulty breathing, see your GP straight away. These are signs of an urgent medical condition that requires immediate attention.

2) When Should I Use Emergency Room Services?

If you have a severe injury or a medical condition that is an immediate threat to your life, you’ll want to head to an emergency room for urgent care. For example, you should call 911 if you have severe chest pain, shortness of breath or heart palpitations. In any of these situations, it could be a sign of a heart attack or another serious problem—and in some cases, time is of the essence when addressing these symptoms.

3) How To Pick An Appropriate Hospital Facility

The differences between an urgent care and emergency room can be confusing for some patients, and understanding them before an emergency situation occurs is critical. Before you get sick or hurt, make sure you know where to go for help.


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