Determining Your Level of Care: Urgent Care vs. ER
There are a number of options for healthcare in any given city. When you or someone you love is having a health problem, you will need to assess the situation to determine that option for care might be best. The three general choices are an urgent-care clinic, emergency room and your family doctor.
The benefit of seeing your family doctor is the familiarity. Chances are that you’ve been seeing this doctor for a while, which means they will know your medical history and how to best treat your symptoms. It makes sense to visit a family doctor for routine checkups or symptoms related to a chronic condition. You can also schedule a visit when you’re having a minor health problem that doesn’t require immediate care.
Urgent care was designed to function as an additional option for when your need is too urgent to request an appointment with your family doctor but don’t want or need to go to the emergency room. One of their major benefits is that the cost is so affordable. It’s estimated that urgent care can cost 10 times less than a typical emergency room. It’s also a good option for when you’re out of town and don’t have access to your regular doctor. If you fall and get a minor cut that requires stitches, you probably won’t want to waste your time and money on the ER. Urgent care can handle the problem for a lesser cost.
However, urgent care doesn’t handle every type of health crisis. At Prime Urgent Care in Pearland, TX, we can treat minor broken bones, concussions, lacerations, burns and other injuries. If you think you might be dealing with a major health concern, such as a stroke, heart attack, severe broken bone or trouble breathing, it’s better to go directly to the emergency room.
Due to the severity of the cost and the extreme limit on the amount of patients they can treat, the emergency room should be a last resort. That said, it’s never wise to second guess yourself too much if you think a legitimate emergency is taking place.
Always dial 911 or head for the ER if you or someone you love is experiencing:
• Head injuries.
• Difficulty breathing or chest pains.
• Serious cuts, burns, breaks or dislocations.
• Sudden or severe changes to mental state.
• Any loss of consciousness.
• Major bleeding.
If you’ve assessed your symptoms and determined that urgent care is what you need, our team at Prime Urgent Care is ready to assist you.