Emergency Rooms And Urgent Care Centers Aren't The Same: Learn The Differences

When it comes to after-hours medical concerns, some people approach the idea from an emergency room or urgent care center mindset, instead of an emergency room vs. urgent care. Confused yet? These two facilities aren't the same and are designed to serve different needs. In most instances, urgent care facilities are better equipped to meet the need of most people that find themselves in this scenario. Make sure you understand the difference between the two.

Non Life-Threatening

A major distinction between the two is that one is primarily meant to serve the need of those who are in life-threatening situations. For all serious medical emergencies, an emergency room is right for you. However, urgent care centers are fully-equipped to handle other scenarios like broken bones, severe colds, stomach pain, and other minor injuries.

It's important to always be proactive, so if the person has a history of health problems or they are experiencing symptoms that you feel may be life-threatening, there is no harm in going to a nearby emergency room.

Shorter Wait Times

One of the not so pleasant things about receiving medical care is that you sometimes have to wait. However, the healthcare team must give each patient their fair share of care and things are always changing, so wait times can extend.

When you compare an emergency room to an urgent care facility, there is a clear distinction. The concerns the staff has to address are more severe and there are generally more patients at an emergency room than an urgent care. Which means more wait time. You can generally have your issues addressed much faster at an urgent care center.

Less Costs

When you visit a large hospital, you aren't just paying for the cost of your medical treatment. To a certain degree, you are also paying a potion towards the operating costs of the facility, and it's no question that this cost can be expensive.  

On average, a patient can expect to spend somewhere around $1,700 for a single visit. However, with an urgent care visit, the cost is somewhere around $150. While the type of insurance you have and the nature of your visit will play a large role, the reality is that you can spend less and still get the care you need.

Of course, when it comes to your health and the safety of your family, you are the deciding factor. Each person is entitled to go wherever they want. However, make sure you aren't overlooking these factors. For more information, contact a professional in your area like those found at Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc.