Unfortunately, as careful as we try to be, people get sick and hurt all the time. When this happens, people often panic. We are worried about ourselves and our loved ones when an accident or emergency happens, and we want to get them taken care of as soon as possible.
This panic often leads to seeking out medical care immediately, which is great. However, typical doctor’s offices are not open all the time. For this reason, many patients often opt for the emergency room so that they can be looked at quickly. This can very swiftly lead to overcrowding in the emergency room (which ironically means patients aren’t seen quickly at all). Too often patients go to the emergency room even if the illness or injury does not warrant an ER visit.
When you Should Go to the Emergency Room
As is in the name, emergency room visits should be saved for true emergencies. When medical attention is required that can only be given in a hospital setting, then the emergency room is probably appropriate. Conditions like severe chest pain, difficulty breathing, broken bones, heart attacks, and serious cuts and bleeding are all excellent examples of reasons one should go straight to the emergency room.
When You Should Go to a Walk In Urgent Care
Walk in Urgent Care facilities offer immediate care for a variety of medical problems that need to be treated right away, but are not considered true emergencies. Conditions that warrant an urgent care visit are things like a fever without a rash, ear pain, painful urination, diarrhea, vomiting, major bruising from a fall, or a sore throat. When these instances occur and you cannot get in to see your primary care doctor soon enough, visiting an urgent care is your best bet.
Benefits of Walk In Urgent Care Over the Emergency Room
Other than being open 24/7, emergencies rooms have very few benefits over walk in urgent care centers. If you can wait, here are two reasons that you will be better off going to urgent care than the emergency room.
Urgent care center are equipped to handle a variety of medical conditions, and they also typically have a physician on site that is ready to take care of your medical needs.
Shorter Wait Times
The urgent Care Association of America conducted a survey that revealed 57% of patients do not have to wait any longer than 15 minutes to be seen at an urgent care, and approximately 80% of urgent care visits take less than 60 minutes. Some people wait hours at the emergency room.
If you are experiencing a medical condition that does not warrant a trip to the emergency room, go to an urgent care center before you wait around to see your primary care doctor.