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Do I Need to Go to an Emergency Room for Urgent Care Services?
It is important to know where to go for urgent care services. Many people either decide to go to an emergency room or an urgent care center for urgent care. Even though emergency rooms and urgent care centers provide many of the same services, they are different in many ways. Choosing the right care facility can save you time and maybe even your life. Read on to find out where to go for urgent health services.
Emergency rooms and urgent care services
The emergency room (ER) is one of the places where many Americans first go for their health care. It has become an entry point for many patients but visiting an emergency room is not recommended for some patients. The big difference between an emergency room and an urgent care facility is the level of care and treatment provided at each facility. However, these facilities also have some similarities. Urgent care facilities and emergency rooms are staffed with experienced and compassionate health care providers. In many cases, both facilities will have doctors and nurses on staff.
For a major emergency, people should head straight to an emergency room. The emergency room is the ideal option for immediate care if a person suffers from life-threatening injuries or very severe illness. An ER is often suitable for conditions that may require advanced treatment like surgery. Situations that may require a hospital include difficulty breathing, bleeding that will not stop, chest pain, unconsciousness and severe headache. Others that may also require an emergency room include severe vomiting, severe dizziness and a broken bone that sticks out of the skin. Going to an urgent care facility in these situations is not recommended because these centers are often limited in the type of care they provide.
Urgent care center
If a person has symptoms that require urgent attention but are not life-threatening, visiting an urgent care center is highly recommended. These centers are suitable when a person needs treatment for colds, minor burns, urinary tract infections, allergic reactions and bug stings. Some can also treat small fractures and lacerations. While an ER can treat these urgent care problems, it is not ideal because emergency rooms are often busier.
An urgent care center can also provide some of the services offered at emergency rooms. Many people usually go to urgent care centers and emergency rooms for the same problems. But visiting an urgent care center can save a patient time because of the short wait time. In many cases, an urgent care facility helps a patient through the system much faster because the care at these centers is more specific and limited.
One of the differences between emergency rooms and urgent care centers is the severity of the health problems the facilities focus on. People with life-threatening problems or conditions should go to an emergency room as soon as possible. However, for non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses, you should take advantage of the affordability and convenience urgent care facilities offer. Knowing the differences and similarities between an ER and urgent care facility is important. However, regardless of where you go for treatment, you should still follow-up with additional treatments as recommended.
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