What Is The Difference Between Urgent Care And The Emergency Room?

Your primary care doctor is the best place to start when you are sick or hurt. They know you and your health history, including any underlying or pre-existing conditions you may have. But what if you get sick or injured on the weekend or late at night when your doctor’s office is closed?

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If your condition isn’t life-threatening, but needs to be taken care of right away, then urgent care may be the right choice for you. Urgent Care centers are usually open after normal business hours, including evenings and weekends. Emergency Rooms are the best place for treating severe and life-threatening conditions. They are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Where To Go: Emergency Room or Urgent Care Facility?

There are distinct differences between emergency rooms and traditional urgent care centers, including the level of care that can be provided at each location, and especially COST.

Urgent care centers can handle a variety of medical problems that need to be treated but are not considered true emergencies. They fill a vital gap when you become sick or injured and your regular doctor is not available, or you can’t wait for an appointment. Hospital emergency departments or “Free standing Emergency” centers provide medical care 24/7, but unlike urgent care centers, they are also equipped for critical care situations.

Does the facility you are visiting say “URGENT CARE”  or  “EMERGENCY”  – Pay attention to this, because it matters!

Urgent Care versus Emergency Room

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