When the unexpected happens, where do you go? How do you know how serious it is?
The emergency room and urgent care are two options for a sudden medical problem. Depending on your symptoms and level of injury, you can make a better choice about which medical facility to choose. The emergency room at the hospital may be very busy with longer wait times, but is available 24/7. An urgent care clinic is a walk-in medical facility that offers many of the same diagnostic tests and treatments as an emergency room with a shorter wait time, but be aware of the hours at the urgent care center before you head over for a late-night or weekend visit.
Go to Urgent Care for:
- strain or sprain
- minor broken bone
- mild asthma attack or allergic reaction
- small cut or injury
- sore throat or earache
- minor burn
- urinary tract, pelvic, or other minor infection
- animal bite
- fever or flu
Go to the Emergency Room for:
- abdominal or chest pain or pressure or any signs of heart attack or stroke
- bleeding, vomiting, or diarrhea that does not stop
- pain that comes on suddenly or severely
- vision changes
- dizziness, weakness, or loss of consciousness
- difficulty breathing
- confusion, disorientation, or change in mental status
- large open wound, heavy bleeding
- serious burn
- head or spinal injury
Urgent care is a great option for non-life threatening health issues. You may be seen faster or you may be able to find an urgent care center closer to home than the hospital. However, if you have a serious problem or feel your life is in danger, always call 9-1-1 and use the emergency room.
Regional Medical Center offers excellent emergency care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can even check our website to find out how long a wait in our ER will be. It gets updated every 30 minutes. If you have any questions or would like help with a physician referral, call our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-888-741-5119.