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Emergency Room vs Urgent Care



As Your Hero in Healthcare, I’m here to help you choose the best facility for your specific healthcare needs. One of the most common questions I have answered for clients is the great debate between where they should go when health issues arise: Emergency Room or Urgent Care?


While most healthcare services can be found in any hospital no matter where they are on the spectrum of severity, it’s important to know that sometimes an emergency room run isn’t the best bang for your buck or the best option for your care.


Urgent Care offices can actually help treat so many things at a much lower cost and should be a top option for anyone looking to save some extra money for their minor conditions.





When a healthcare issue strikes you or your family, I suggest taking a moment to slow down to ask yourself: “Is this a life threatening issue?”. Are you, or a family member experiencing a



heart attack? Or a stroke? In this case, by all means, a hospital run is definitely warranted. However, if the issue is a cold, the flu, allergic reactions, or even a broken bone - not only will visiting the urgent care save you from costly hospital bills, but you will most likely have a much shorter waiting time for your care than you would find at the hospital emergency room. This is due to the fact that, by federal law, emergency rooms must provide care to all patients - regardless of the patient’s ability to pay for their care or if the patient has health insurance. A lot of patients utilize emergency rooms as their primary care providers for this reason, which racks up the long, infamous, emergency room waiting times.




The best part about urgent care? You don’t NEED an appointment like you would at your primary care doctor. They are even open on weekends, unlike your primary care doctor. But you also don’t have to wait in the massive emergency room waiting line. Not to mention, emergency rooms have become a hub for Covid patients, which means you might even be safer in an urgent care waiting room than you would in an emergency room waiting room.


In conclusion, urgent care can be a more cost-effective, time-effective option in most cases. Also, if you are ever unsure of what to do, your Hero in Healthcare is always here to answer a call or text and I can even point you in the direction of some of my favorite urgent care centers or walk-in clinics.


Check out this checklist for reference when an illness arises:


Emergency Room:

  • Severe chest pain

  • Severe abdominal pain

  • Wheezing or shortness of breath

  • Paralysis

  • Intestinal bleeding

  • High fevers or rash, especially among children

  • Vaginal bleeding with pregnancy

  • Repeated vomiting

  • Poisoning

  • Severe head or eye injuries

  • Allergic reactions

  • Unconsciousness

Urgent Care:

  • Fevers, flu or cold symptoms

  • Ear infections

  • Animal or insect bites

  • Seasonal allergies

  • Bronchitis

  • Sprains and broken bones

  • Cuts and bleeding that may require stitches

  • Vomiting or diarrhea

  • Breathing discomfort, such as moderate asthma

  • Urinary tract infections

  • X-rays and lab tests

  • Abdominal pain

  • Minor back pain

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