EMERGENCY ROOM OR URGENT CARE: WHICH SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?

Urgent Care Near Me_AppleCare

When you or a family member are feeling sick and need health care now, it can be hard to know where to go. Many people immediately think they should go to the emergency room. But many health care issues can be more easily treated at an urgent care clinic. In fact, one national study found that 27% of all emergency room visits could have been taken care of at an urgent care clinic.

When to Go to the Nearest Urgent Care Clinic

Urgent care clinics offer quick, affordable treatment for non-emergency health issues. Urgent care clinics are open nights and weekends and most, like AppleCare, do not require appointments.

Here are some examples of non-emergency health issues urgent care clinics can treat:

  • Cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Sprains and strains
    • Shallow cuts
    • Urinary tract infections
    • Rashes
    • Insect bites
    • Vomiting or diarrhea
    • Fever
    • Dehydration
    • Minor burns
    • Fractures and dislocations

If you are experiencing a non-emergency health issue, an urgent care clinic is a better choice than an emergency room. Here are two benefits of using an urgent care clinic near you:

  • Urgent care clinics have a shorter wait time. Emergency rooms are designed for emergencies, which take a while to treat. The average emergency room visit will take over 2 hours, while the majority (85%) of urgent care visits take an hour or less.

 

  • Urgent care clinics cost less. Did you know the average emergency room visit costs $1,389? That’s nearly 4 times higher than it was just 10 years ago! Even if you have insurance, an urgent care clinic will still probably cost you less due to the lower co-pays.

When to Go to the Emergency Room

Emergency rooms, also called emergency departments, are meant to be used for true medical emergencies. Some examples of medical emergencies include:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Deep cuts
  • Gunshot wounds
  • Paralysis
  • Serious burns
  • Unconsciousness
  • Bleeding that you cannot control
  • Drug overdoses
  • Poisoning
  • Head trauma

If you believe you or someone near you is experiencing a medical emergency, visit an emergency room as soon as possible.

Visiting an emergency room may also be your best option if it is very late at night or early in the morning. Although urgent care clinics are open nights and weekends, emergency rooms are open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

When to Call 911

There are times when it is best to call 911 instead of trying to drive to an emergency room or an urgent care clinic. If you are experiencing any of the following health issues, please call 911:

  • Blurry or lost vision
  • Bleeding that you cannot control
  • Chest pain
  • Suspected heart attack or stroke

AppleCare Clinics

We know it’s stressful when you or a family member are sick. If you are experiencing a non-emergency health issue, walk in to any of our convenient AppleCare Clinics that are open days, nights, and weekends. Our friendly doctors and health care staff will have you feeling better in no time!

 

Sources

How many emergency department visits could be managed at urgent care centers and retail clinics?

Emergency department wait times, crowding, and access

Urgent Care Association 2018 survey responses

‘Really astonishing’: Average cost of hospital ER visit surges 176% in a decade, report says