There are a few key differences between urgent care and the emergency room (ER). Urgent care is for injuries or illnesses that are not life-threatening. The emergency room, on the other hand, is for serious issues that may be considered a medical emergency.
One of the biggest differences between urgent care and the ER is the wait time and accessibility. Because urgent care centers deal with less serious medical issues, you won’t have to wait as long to be seen by a doctor or nurse. In addition, urgent care centers typically have extended hours, so you can get treatment even if your regular doctor’s office is closed. Urgent care centers are also typically less expensive than the ER.
When to Choose Urgent Care
Urgent care centers are a great option for non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses. If you’re unsure whether your illness is appropriate for urgent care versus scheduling an appointment with your regular primary care doctor, it’s best to err on the side of caution and seek urgent medical attention. Urgent care centers are equipped to handle a variety of illnesses and injuries, so you’ll be in good hands no matter what’s wrong.
Here are just a few of the symptoms, illnesses, and conditions that can be effectively treated at an urgent care facility:
- Abdominal pain
- Acid reflux and GERD
- Bone breaks
- Colds / flu
- Ear infections
- Minor burns or wounds
- Pink eye or other eye infections
- Preventive care: physical exam, vaccines
- Pulled muscles
- Rashes and skin disorders
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Sinus infections
- Sore throat
- Strep throat
- Tendonitis and other repetitive use injuries
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Workplace injuries
When to Choose the ER
If you or a loved one are experiencing signs or symptoms of a life-threatening condition, the ER is your best bet. This includes issues such as sudden or severe:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Bleeding that won’t stop
- Concussions or head injuries
- Loss of consciousness
- A sudden, severe headache
If you’re not sure whether to go to the emergency room or an urgent care facility, consider the following: ERs are for life-threatening situations that require immediate medical attention, such as a heart attack or stroke. If you think you or someone else is having a medical emergency, call 911 right away. On the other hand, urgent care facilities can handle many less serious conditions, such as the flu, ear infections, and sprains. Urgent care is usually less expensive than the ER and will be able to see you much more quickly.
Urgent Care in Caledonia, NY
Are you having a hard time deciding whether to go to the ER or an urgent care center? We can help! Call us at Cornerstone Urgent Care Center in Rochester, New York, and we’d be happy to guide you to the most appropriate care facility. We serve patients from Rochester and the surrounding areas, including Caledonia. Call Cornerstone Urgent Care Center at (585) 207-0088, or simply visit us during our extended business hours: Monday – Friday, 8 am – 8 pm and Saturday – Sunday, 9 am – 7 pm.