Medical Emergencies Should You Go to Urgent Care or the ER?

Emergency room physician

During a medical emergency, there is not much time to think about the options you have. While emergency rooms can treat just about any problem a patient comes to them for, they often leave those patients with a hefty bill after a long day of waiting. To help ease the long emergency room wait times, urgent care clinics have been popping up all around the nation to provide Americans with treatment for urgent medical care. But what is the different between these two medical centers?

Urgent Care Clinics

Urgent care clinics are a relatively new style of medical center that has become more popular in recent years. These clinics are meant to be a sort of in-between for doctors and emergency rooms. Typically, an urgent care clinic will take care of minor medical emergencies, such as a broken bone, minor cuts, fever or flu, rashes and infections. In addition, most urgent care clinics offer physical examinations and drug testing for employment. Visiting an urgent care center can save you hundreds of dollars, and a whole day of waiting. Typically, an urgent care visit takes no longer than an hour, and costs an average of $150.

Emergency Rooms

Emergency rooms for medical emergencies that need immediate attention, and can permanently impair or endanger the life of a patient. Patients are seen on the basis of need, so the more serious the injury, the less time there is to wait. Typical conditions that require an emergency room visit include signs of heart attack, seizures or convulsions, moderate to severe burns, or serious head, neck, or back injury. Emergency rooms are equipped with all the best medical technology to ensure they have everything they need, no matter the case. However, emergency room visits can cost upwards of $1500 on average.

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