Urgent Care vs. Emergency Room Care
When someone is experiencing a life threatening medical problem, they will need emergency room care. Many people seem to get confused by the terms “urgent care” and “emergency room care.” Obviously, when you have a life threatening medical problem you will have to go to the emergency room to get care. This is where somebody calls 9-1-1 and the paramedics come to transport you to the hospital. For example, if somebody has shot you in the back, then you won’t really be in the position to drive yourself down to the emergency room and wait for a doctor to assist you. Instead, you will need to call 9-1-1 and have paramedics treat your bullet wound while they transport you to the emergency room at the hospital.
Sometimes, people are well enough to drive themselves over to the emergency room to get critical treatment. What many of these people don’t realize is that they could just go to an urgent care facility instead. These are also called “walk-in clinics,” which are medical facilities that you can go to without an appointment. Obviously, this is similar to an emergency room because you don’t need an appointment to go there either. The difference is that urgent care facilities are not actually for emergencies. Even though walk-in clinics are referred to as urgent care, they aren’t exactly for people that need urgent treatment. An urgent care facility is better for somebody that has a fever, sprained ankle, flu or anything that is not a critical illness or injury. These types of medical problems may be uncomfortable, but they are nothing compared to a severe burn, cut, broken bone or internal bleeding. For these you will need an ER doctor to treat you immediately. People often go to the emergency room and pay outrageous hospital fees without ever realizing that they could have just gone to an urgent care facility instead. Not only are they cheaper, but they are also faster than going to an emergency room without having an actual emergency.