When to Use an Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care?


A trip to the doctor can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t know which type of care is best for your condition. Knowing the difference between the emergency room and urgent care can help you make the right decision for your health needs, says Dr Lou Hampers, the former Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Whether it’s a minor injury or a major illness, understanding which facility to go to can save time and provide the best possible care.
What is an Emergency Room?
The emergency room (ER) is used for serious injuries or illnesses that require immediate medical attention. An ER visit should be considered if you have any symptoms of heart attack, stroke, head trauma, difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, severe abdominal pain or bleeding.

ER doctors Lou Hampers are equipped with advanced technology and specialized staff to treat life-threatening conditions as quickly and effectively as possible.
What is Urgent Care?
Urgent care facilities are ideal for any medical condition that requires immediate attention but isn’t life-threatening. Urgent care centers are usually open later than a primary care physician’s office and can often accommodate walk-in patients without an appointment.

If you have a fever, sore throat, minor cuts or broken bones that aren’t too severe, then urgent care may be the best option for you. Urgent care centers also provide on-site X-rays and laboratory testing services in addition to other diagnostic procedures like EKGs and ultrasounds.
When it comes to seeking medical treatment for your health needs, always consider whether an ER visit or urgent care is more appropriate based on the severity of your condition. The ER should be reserved for life-threatening illnesses, while urgent care should be used for any non-emergency situations such as simple fractures, lacerations, or colds/flu symptoms.

Taking into account these differences will ensure that you receive timely treatment from the most qualified medical professional available. Understanding what each facility offers will help you make informed decisions about your health and well-being in no time at all!