Should You Call the Emergency Room or the Urgent Care Center?

Woodinville urgent care

Do you know your nearest emergency room number? If you have ever had the misfortune to need emergency room care, you’ll understand why some people do everything they can to avoid the place. The wait times can be long because of triage, the waiting area is uncomfortable, and then of course you are physically hurting while you wait. It might seem callous to complain about the emergency room, and yet it is a stressful and expensive place to be.

There are times when the emergency room is your only choice. An emergency is qualified as the potential loss of life, limb, or organ. Severe burns, deep cuts, blood loss, and drowning are all examples of when a trip to the emergency room is the only option although there are other circumstances not mentioned here.

Is There Another Option Besides Going to the Emergency Room?

If you are experiencing one of the scenarios listed above, then no, calling the emergency room number and heading in is your only option. However, there are a group of medical problems that are serious enough to warrant immediate attention, but are not a threat to life or limb. These medical concerns can be brought to an urgent care clinic instead.

What Medical Problems Can an Urgent Care Facility Heal?

The medical care an urgent care center offers targets problems that if not treated will cause permanent damage to the body. A climbing fever, a sore throat lasting longer than three days, or a sprained ankle are a few examples. Treatment offered includes fracture care, intravenous fluids, diagnosis of illnesses, and minor burn care among others. The options offered at each location will vary. For example, about four out of every five clinics offer patients fracture care. If you or a family member need to be treated for a sprained ankle, it pays to double check if the nearest clinic offers that particular medical service.

Urgent Care Centers Are Often Open When Regular Doctor’s Offices Are Not.

Urgent care clinics treat problems that need attention and cannot wait for your regular physician to have an opening to see you. Nearly 85% of urgent care facilities are open seven days a week, although times will vary. Illnesses don’t strike during regular business hours, and accidents often happen on the weekend when doctors have limited, if any, office hours. This can be especially stressful for the parents of small children, who would prefer to have their child’s persistent fever checked out sooner rather than later.

If you believe you are experiencing an emergency, by all means go straight to the emergency room. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the health of your body. For those medical concerns that fall just below an emergency but higher than the common cold, call the nearest walk in clinic instead of the emergency room number. You’ll save a bit of time, some stress, and likely money instead.

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