Urgent Care vs. Emergency Room: Making the Right Choice

Sometimes, you need to seek medical attention due to illness or injury. When this happens, waiting for your primary care physician or family doctor just isn’t practical with an urgent need for medical assistance. Hospital visits to the emergency room can cost thousands of dollars just for a quick visit. Do you know where to go when the need for medical help arises? If you wonder what the difference is between urgent care and the emergency room, you are not alone.

Many people assume that urgent care facilities, such as urgent care Desoto TX, are the same type of facility. Although there are some similarities, these two establishments serve different functions. Although they can stabilize your condition and treat you for minor ailments, only one can provide life-saving equipment in an actual life-or-death medical emergency.

The Emergency Room

The emergency room, or ER for short, is the department that handles all the potentially life-threatening injuries and illnesses in the hospital. Commonly staffed with a resident on call, you can often expect to wait for long periods if you are visiting for a minor injury that a routine visit can handle. At the same time, priority cases are moved to the forefront of the action. This process is done by triage, meaning that you will be assessed for the urgency of your case.

In other words, if you are there with heartburn and a gunshot victim arrives, expect to wait. Minor discomforts such as headaches, heartburn, muscle cramps, and other non-threatening issues would be better served at urgent care Desoto TX.

Urgent Care Facilities

Urgent care facilities are excellent at treating uncomfortable illnesses such as cold and flu or minor injuries, such as patching you up when you suffer scrapes or other minor skin problems. They can not only handle minor issues, but they can generally see you with much less wait time. Common health ailments such as urinary tract infections or stomach bugs are also easily treated by the caring team at an urgent care center near you.

With severe injuries, you may need significantly more care than an urgent care center can provide. Although facilities today, such as urgent care Desoto TX, have board-certified physicians on staff and a large amount of diagnostic equipment, in the event of a life-threatening emergency, such as a heart attack or major motor vehicle accident, or even the need for surgical intervention,  you will still need to be transferred to a hospital emergency room nearby after being stabilized for transit.

The Right Choice

Choosing a suitable facility for treatment can be confusing and scary when you are injured or don’t feel well. If you are suffering from a severe injury or pain, always be cautious and visit your local emergency room at the hospital nearest to your location. For less severe issues such as allergies, cold and flu, muscle strain, or scrapes and bruises, consider using an urgent care center for your needs. The cost is much less, and the wait is much shorter than visiting a traditional emergency room.