Urgent Care vs the ER: Which One Should You Choose?

Important note: Call 911 or go to your local emergency room immediately if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

When you are injured or experiencing a health issue, you have several options. However, knowing which option is appropriate isn’t always as obvious as you might think. Although urgent care centers like PhysicianOne Urgent Care are equipped to treat a large variety of health concerns, we are not an emergency room. Emergency rooms treat severe, life-threatening conditions. They are also open every day, all day. In contrast, urgent care centers are not 24/7 facilities, although they are typically open longer than a regular physician’s office. Urgent care centers like PhysicianOne Urgent Care treat complex conditions that a primary care doctor might not be able to address in an expedient manner.

The benefits of urgent care.

An emergency room doesn’t need to be your first choice for non life-threatening injuries and illnesses. Moreover, they are rarely the most convenient, expedient, or cost-effective option. An urgent care center can save you time and money. At PhysicianOne Urgent Care, we provide high-quality care from experienced, knowledgeable medical staff on a walk-in basis. Although we’re not open 24/7, our extended hours exceed those of physicians’ offices. Our hours are 8am to 8pm Monday through Friday and 9am to 5pm on weekends and holidays. Additionally, we perform X-rays on-site.

Know which treatment option to choose.

To ensure you are getting the right care at the right time, it’s important to understand your options before an accident or illness occurs. Knowing your choices ahead of time will make your life easier down the road. As always, if you’re ever in doubt about whether you need emergent, life-saving care, go to an ER right away.

When to visit an ER:

  • Signs of a heart attack, severe chest pain/pressure
  • Signs of stroke
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Sudden or unexplained loss of consciousness
  • Severe head injuries
  • Sudden loss of vision
  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Sudden and severe abdominal pain
  • Suicidal feelings
  • Partial or total amputation of a limb
  • Sudden severe headache
  • Large open wound
  • Severe bleeding
  • Spinal injuries
  • Vaginal bleeding with pregnancy
  • Serious burns
  • Alcohol or drug overdose

When to take your child to the ER:

  • Any difficulty breathing
  • Blue lips, tongue, or skin tone
  • A change in mental status
  • Seizures
  • Ingestion of a toxic chemical or prescription drug prescribed for someone else