When to Go to the Emergency Room Vs. Urgent Care

Jan 23, 2024 | Treatment | 0 comments

At East Adams Rural Healthcare, we understand how difficult it can be to know — in the moment — whether to visit an emergency room or an urgent care facility when medical situations arise. Knowing when to go to the emergency room vs. urgent care is important for receiving the proper care promptly as well as keeping your health insurance budget under control. 

Below, we’ll provide some clarity to make it easier for you to make informed decisions about your pressing healthcare needs.

Emergency Rooms 101

Emergency rooms (ER) handle severe and life-threatening conditions. They are open 24/7 and staffed by doctors who specialize in emergency medicine. These facilities have a range of diagnostic tools, medical equipment, and treatment options designed for stabilizing patients.

When Should You Visit the ER?

The most common reasons for visiting a hospital emergency room include:

Life-Threatening Conditions

Visit the ER for conditions like heart attack symptoms, stroke, severe breathing difficulties, or serious injuries.

Severe Conditions

For severe pain, serious burns, deep wounds, bleeding that won’t stop, or when in doubt about the severity of a medical condition, the ER is the appropriate choice.

Immediate Medical Attention

For any condition that requires immediate medical attention, or if you’re unsure of the severity, it’s safer to opt for the ER.

Check out our Guide for When to Go to the Emergency Room for more insights.

Urgent Care 101

Urgent care centers handle non-life-threatening medical issues that require prompt attention. They are usually open beyond regular business hours and can provide a convenient and cost-effective alternative to the ER for less severe health issues.

When Should You Head to Urgent Care?

The most common reasons for visiting a hospital emergency room include:

Minor Injuries and Illnesses

Urgent care centers are an ideal choice for sprains, minor cuts, colds, flu symptoms, mild asthma attacks, and other non-emergency conditions.

After-Hours Care

Urgent care is suitable if your primary care physician’s office is closed and your condition can’t wait.

Routine Medical Services

Some urgent care centers offer routine services like vaccinations, physicals, and lab tests.

Learn more about the benefits of urgent care in our blog.

Making the Right Choice

Deciding between the emergency room and urgent care can be simplified by assessing the severity of the condition. If the situation seems life-threatening or could lead to severe complications if not immediately addressed, the ER is the right choice. Urgent care is more appropriate for less severe issues that still require prompt attention.

Turn to EARH for Both Emergencies and Urgent Care

Understanding when to go to the emergency room vs. urgent care is essential for getting appropriate care and can also help reduce healthcare costs and wait times. East Adams Rural Healthcare is committed to providing our community with comprehensive healthcare services tailored to various medical needs, including women’s medical care.
For more information on healthcare options and services, learn more at East Adams Rural Healthcare. Our dedicated team is here to assist you with all your healthcare needs, ensuring you receive the proper care at the right time.