When Should You Not Go To Urgent Care?

It can be difficult to decide between getting treatment at an urgent care clinic and the ER. Selecting where to go for care in an emergency situation can be confusing. In the following article, experts will explain the purpose of urgent care and discuss when to go to the emergency room.

Urgent care wake forest nc is intended to treat minor medical issues. The main difference between urgent care and emergency room visits is based on what constitutes a medical emergency. Urgent care centers aim to provide medical care that focuses on issues which are not life-threatening, but still require prompt attention.

Urgent care centers typically include staff of both doctors and physician assistants who are typically trained in emergency or family medicine. The health professionals often have a broad range of medical knowledge and skills which allow them to effectively diagnose and treat a wide variety of illnesses. They are also trained to determine when a specialist is required or when the patient is suffering from a potential emergency medical condition which requires a visit to the emergency room.

Urgent care centers often have X-ray machines, basic lab testing such as the throat or nasal swabs used for strep throat or flu, and equipment for minor procedures such as splinting a broken bone and administering sutures. Patients who have an issue requiring a more intense level of care, should go to the emergency room or call 911.

Emergency departments have the ability to provide in-depth diagnostic testing, administer a wider range of medications, and access to applicable specialists.

You will usually see a provider more quickly at an urgent care clinic. Because emergency rooms must prioritize more serious and life-threatening health issues, urgent care can often treat patients more quickly for various  medical issues. Patients often have a long wait for treatment on non-life-threatening issues in the emergency department.

The emergency room is a better option than urgent care for patients who have a serious or life-threatening issue. Emergency rooms are also open 24 hours a day a seven days a week. Many urgent care centers offer extended weekday and weekend hours, however, they are not open 24/7.

Urgent care centers can be limited in the type of care they are able to provide. They are best prepared to diagnose and treat issues such as respiratory illness, influenza, strep throat, urinary tract infections, burns, allergic reactions, skin conditions, orthopedics, abdominal pain, STD’s, lacerations, and other illnesses.

For major emergencies, it is important to go directly to the emergency room. Some situations which require a visit to the emergency room include chest pain, difficulty breathing, unconsciousness, severe headache, severe dizziness, severe vomiting, chronic bleeding, or a broken bone which is outside the skin. If a patient visits an urgent care center in the above situations, it can be dangerous as the clinic does not have adequate equipment to properly treat the issue and patients will ultimately be redirected to the emergency room.

Urgent care centers are typically less expensive than an emergency room. The cost for treatment will vary drastically based on your specific insurance coverage, however, urgent care is typically far less expensive. Urgent care clinics do not have the same amount of equipment or specialists on staff compared to an emergency room department. As a result, urgent care clinics cost less.

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