Urgent Care or Emergency Care?
When to go to an Urgent Care and when to go to an Emergency Room
Urgent Care vs Emergency Care
It’s after hours, your doctor’s office is closed, and you or your family member are in pain. You decide to try an wait it out until tomorrow morning (or maybe Monday morning) but the pain gets worse and now you have a fever. Is this an emergency? Is it an urgent care issue? Should you go to a hospital? a clinic?
An emergency is a condition that cannot wait to be treated which can lead to serious complications if ignored. An urgency is a condition, while perhaps uncomfortable, can safely wait to be treated in a day or two.
What’s the Difference?
Urgent Care clinics can take care of a wide range of minor complaints from colds and sore throats to minor cuts, bumps, and bruises. However, most urgent cares lack advanced imaging technologies such as CT scan or Ultrasound which are necessary to diagnose more serious problems such as a threatened miscarriage, head trauma, or appendicitis, to name just a few. Also, Urgent Care clinics usually aren’t staffed by Emergency Medicine Residency-Trained Physicians; their staff are competent at what they do, but they likely don’t have the experience to manage many serious emergencies and will just call 911 for help.
Reasons to Go to an Emergency Room
- Persistent Chest Pain – especially if it is associated with any other symptoms such as shortness of breath, weakness, dizziness, sweating, or radiation into your arm, back, or neck.
- Difficulty Breathing
- Severe Pain – especially if it involves the chest, head, or abdomen
- New Weakness, Numbness, Clumsiness, or Confusion – these can all be signs of a stroke
- Sudden Headache – this can indicated a ruptured blood vessel
- Fever – particularly in very young children (under 3 months), the elderly, or in patients with suppressed immune systems
- Palpitations or Abnormal Heart Rhythms
- Seizures – especially first time seizures or seizures that last longer than usual
- Bleeding or Pain During Pregnancy – there are many serious conditions that can occur during pregnancy that must be evaluated immediately
- Blood in Vomit or Stool or Dark-Colored Stools
- Head Injuries / Concussions
- Testicular Pain or Swelling
- Broken Bones or Dislocated Joints
- Deep Cuts That Require Stitches
- Eye Emergencies – including foreign bodies, pain, loss of vision
- Serious Burns
- Falls That Occur While Taking Blood Thinners
- Persistent or Severe Vomiting or Diarrhea
- Severe Flu or Cold Symptoms (Risk for Pneumonia)
Why Code 3 ER & Urgent Care?
Code 3 is transparent about its pricing. After providing you with a free medical screening exam, our doctors will let you know if the condition you are experiencing is an emergency or an urgent care issue. While we do run an urgent care at this location, we may be able to offer you a prompt pay pathway to reduce your bill if you elect to stay in the ER to treat your urgent care issue. We never want anyone to receive a huge bill for what amounts to a minor care problem.
Like anyone else, you hope to never need a freestanding emergency department. But you are happy one is available. During a critical time of need, this facility has the resources to relieve your pain and emergency conditions. If you are not familiar with how this place works, it is helpful to know the differences from…
A freestanding emergency room is a good facility to go to for your medical needs. The facilities treat many injured and ill patients every year. Freestanding facilities are equipped to handle all kinds of emergencies all under one roof. Read on to find out the range of services offered at freestanding emergency rooms.Freestanding emergency rooms…
Though a visit to the full service emergency room may be at a terrible time, there is nothing to be scared of. The doctors, nurses and staff will work hard to take care of you and meet your needs. You may someday need to take your child to the ER. It is helpful to teach…
You may or may not know how a freestanding emergency department differs from other medical facilities. You should know the differences so you can ensure your kids get the right treatment during a time of need. Your children may face serious medical issues at some point. Getting good care will give them relief and help…
People who need to see a health care provider for emergency room services can go to a freestanding emergency room. Emergency room services cover the treatment for different medical conditions and problems, including abdominal pain. It is not uncommon for a person to experience abdominal pain from time to time.However, depending on several factors, including its…