Emergency Room Care Vs Urgent Room Care – What Does Each Do?

Urgent care centers and emergency rooms are different from each other in many ways. While both provide medical services to patients taking meds using pill reminder app, there are many aspects in which they differ from each other: pricing schedules and wait times are to name a few.

When an individual experiences a sudden health complication such as pain in the chest, cut on a thumb, fit of cough; they’re likely uncertain about where to go: do they head to the emergency room, or an urgent care center?

Making this decision is not easy but the information below will help you decide which one to choose under which circumstances.

What Services Do Urgent Care Centers Offer?

Urgent care centers can handle a variety of conditions that need to be treated right away. These centers are ideal for most non-emergency situations.

Most of the urgent care centers remain open till 8:00 pm or 9:00 pm which makes them ideal to treat issues that occur beyond normal business hours of 9 to 5.

Symptoms that can be treated at these centers include:

  • Fever without a rash
  • Vomiting
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Moderate flu-like symptoms
  • Abdominal pain
  • Back pain
  • Sprains and strains
  • Dehydration
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Small cuts that may require stitches
  • Minor fractures
  • X-rays
  • Minor headaches
  • Blood work

If your symptoms appear gradually or you already know your condition, for example, if you have migraine or your child is complaining about an ear infection, it’s worth calling your primary healthcare specialist to see if you can get a quick appointment. After all, the specialist has your complete health history and knows what treatments work best for you or your child.

However, while urgent care rooms can’t replace your primary specialist, they are a great substitute when you are in need of immediate care but can’t connect with your doctor.

What Services Do Emergency Rooms Offer?

Some conditions require rapid or advanced treatment such as surgery. Emergency rooms are a better option for such conditions.

Symptoms that these rooms can handle include:

  • Chest pain or difficulty breathing
  • Slurred speech
  • Fainting
  • Fever with a rash
  • Seizures
  • Serious burns
  • Concussion/confusion
  • Head or eye injury
  • Facial lacerations
  • Stroke
  • Broken bones and dislocated joints
  • Severe cuts that may require stitches
  • Severe cold or flu symptoms
  • Loss of vision
  • Severe bleeding

If you have a similar life-threatening condition and taking medications using medication management app hasn’t worked, go straight to your local ER.

What Are the Differences Between Urgent Care and Emergency Rooms?

While emergency rooms offer advanced solutions, many patients don’t prefer them simply because they are busier and more expensive. Also, it is worth noting that urgent care centers may not deal with all illnesses listed for emergency rooms – particularly the ones requiring surgeries.

Urgent care is frequently less expensive than ER care. The cost of an urgent care visit can go up to $125, while an average ER visit costs over $1,300.

The wait time at urgent care is significantly less than that of ER care. A typical UC room sees patients within 15-50 minutes, whereas the average wait time of an emergency room is between 2-4 hours. The reason behind urgent care being quicker is that it is more limited and specific.

In case a traumatic case is being dealt with in an ER, patients may have to wait for hours for their turn. In urgent care clinics, patients rarely face this issue, as major cases are sent straight to ERs.

What Are the Differences Between Urgent Care and Emergency Rooms?

Both ERs and urgent care centers have compassionate doctors and nurses.

In most cases, UC or ER visits are covered by patient’s insurance. However, no insurance company will cover unnecessary visits.

Both emergency and urgent care rooms offer x-rays. Some urgent care centers even have MRIs, CAT scans, just like hospitals. Moreover, both these facilities can give patients shots, medications, and effective treatment plans.

Emergency rooms and urgent care centers do not deal with chronic conditions such as depression or diabetes. Patients carrying these conditions should see their primary care specialists for treatment.

Can Urgent Care Centers Prescribe Medications?

Urgent care clinics prescribe medications based on your condition.  If a patient is extremely sick or in severe pain, they may get prescribed medication and asked to take it using a free pill reminder app. However, getting prescribed by a UC clinic is very rare and, in most cases, the patients are directed to ERs or their primary specialists for medication recommendations.

It’s important to know that not all UC facilities offer the same services. Thereby, you may find that some of these facilities do not prescribe certain medications – mostly opioids. This is because opioids can lead to addiction and cause patients to abuse drugs.

Be Prepared Before Making the Visit

Hopefully by now, you have learned when to go to urgent care clinics, and when it’s time for the ERs.

But before going to any of these facilities, it’s a good idea to bring a list of all the medications, vitamins, and supplements you are taking along with the amount of each medication you take and how often you take it.

Also provide the specialist with your medical history, including allergies and any medical surgeries you’ve had along with the dates they were performed on and the names of the specialists who performed them. It will help the physician treating you to know which medical procedures you’ve had in the past and which medications or treatment plans suit you better.