Should I go to the Emergency Room or Urgent Care?

There are several things to consider when you’re not feeling well, and deciding where to go is one of the most important decisions you will make. For most people, that will be a choice between the urgent care and an ER, such as the 24 hour emergency clinic Cypress. As I am sure you’re aware, the emergency room was intended for actual emergencies that couldn’t wait until you could get an appointment with your doctor. However, more and more people were heading to the ER for non-emergency situations, causing the ER to become over saturated with non-emergency related problems.

The solution to this was the urgent care. Despite being widely available, some people still visit the emergency room instead of an urgent care even when they aren’t experiencing serious health complications. Knowing the differences between the two and which one is better in certain circumstances will help you make a more informed choice and all around better decision for your specific situation.

Emergency Room
Emergency rooms are equipped to handle a wide array of situations, such as surgical procedures, x-rays, trauma and potential life threatening problems. Emergency rooms are typically found within hospitals and are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The following is a list of common situations that would require a visit to the ER:

• Animal bites, bug bits or other allergic reactions, such as food
• Arm or leg pain or weakness
• Broken bones
• Bleeding continuously
• Chest pain
• Deep wounds
• Head injuries
• Shortness of breath
• Unconsciousness
• Vomiting continuously

Urgent Care
Urgent care is best for non-emergency care but you cannot see your primary care doctor. Most are equipped to treat non-life threatening situations. They are often opened later than traditional doctor’s offices, as well as on holidays and weekends. Urgent cares are generally less busy than emergency rooms but are still staffed with medical doctors and nurses. They also have access to labs and x-rays.

Below is a list of the few situations in which going to an urgent care would be more appropriate than going to the ER:

• Broken bones
• Cold and flu
• Coughs
• Diarrhea
• Fevers
• Minor burns or injuries
• Sore Throat
• Stomach pain
• Vomiting


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