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Urgent Care Vs. Emergency Care

By Expert Author: Alex Roussos

Knowing when you should go to an urgent care facility instead of the emergency room will save you a lot of time and money. If you are unsure and are worried about your life, then go to the emergency room. But if you have conditions which are simply hindering you, then go to an urgent care facility.

Around 20% of emergency room visits should be urgent care facility visits. Many people go to emergency rooms simply because their doctor was not available and they didn't realize that an urgent care facility was an option. While urgent care facilities are not open as often as an emergency room, they are open much more often than a normal doctor's office and they have more services than a doctor's office. Urgent care facilities have medical equipment and services which an emergency room would have but which would often not be at a normal doctor's office such as X-ray equipment, various diagnostic equipment, and stitching services. However, urgent care facilities do not have the wide spread of specialists that an emergency room would have, and emergency rooms of course have much more equipment for surgery and diagnostics.

Urgent care visits are also much cheaper and quicker than emergency room visits, partially because they are not as intensive. If you go to an emergency room when you have a sprained ankle, then you will have to wait for hours while they treat people who have much more severe conditions. Furthermore, in emergency rooms they will usually do a large variety of extensive tests, which will cost you more money and time while being unnecessary for non-life-threatening conditions. Going to an urgent care facility will very often be much quicker. Unlike a doctor's office, urgent care facilities do not require appointments and are open seven days a week, often including holidays. They also have longer hours than a normal doctor's office, which can mean you don't have to miss work to get treatment. Treatment at an urgent care facility often costs only 25% as much as an emergency room treatment.

Some conditions that are usually fit for urgent care facility visits are ear infections, persistent diarrhea, vomiting, severe sore throats, and nausea. These problems are bad enough to warrant getting treated sooner than a doctor's appointment, but aren't life threatening and so aren't fit for the emergency room.
In contrast, emergency rooms are the right choice for severe conditions like breathing problems, poisoning, severe head injuries, chest pains, and broken bones. Many of these things indicate severe, life-threatening issues such as heart problems, lung problems, signs of a stroke, and escalating internal injuries.

With both emergency rooms and urgent care facilities, bring lists of medications you take, including over-the-counter drugs, as well as information on your allergies and previous surgeries. This information is important to help the medical staff make the best decisions. Also keep in mind that urgent care facilities often do not accept certain forms of insurance and sometimes require payment up front.

For more information visit our website: http://BocaRegionalUrgentCare.com

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