Emergency rooms in hospitals operate 24/7 to provide medical assistance in critical situations where every second matters. However, with the passage of time people have started rushing to emergency rooms even when then there is no need. Therefore, it is better to know the differences between the two so that you know where to go in a certain situation.
Urgent care vs emergency rooms can be a difficult decision if you do not know what medical issues the two facilities particularly deal with. Urgent care is required when there are life-threatening medical conditions that must be treated within 24 hours. In a typical urgent care for you would find general laboratory testing equipment, x-ray machine and basic wound care equipment. Doctors and assistants are present to assess the patient and identify whether he needs to be transferred to emergency room for a more detailed diagnosis.
Emergency rooms have a much more comprehensive diagnostic center and patients are readily transferred to care of specialists such as cardiologists or orthopedic surgeons for immediate treatment.
Urgent care centers typically have patients attended in much lesser time. It is more likely that you would be treated quickly in urgent care as the severity of problem would be minor. On the other hand, emergency room deals with problems that pose a serious threat to life. They need to be examined and analyzed in detail by professionals. The treatment might take long in emergency room.
Treatment in urgent care in Tennessee is likely to cost much lesser than that in an emergency room. Urgent care treatments do not require advance equipment or specialist service. They are done quicker as well. Therefore, urgent care often cost much less than emergency rooms.
Urgent care vs. emergency rooms can be a tough choice. Here are some factors to help you decide.
A cut or a wound that is not life-threatening should be treated in urgent care facility. Similarly, medical conditions like hives, ear ache, UTI and other problems that are seemingly minor, however urgent, require treatment at urgent care center. On the other hand, a serious accident or life threatening conditions such as severe chest pain, paralysis-like symptoms or severe abdominal pain along with fever need to be directed to emergency rooms. When a person is having trouble in speaking or is unable to focus, it indicates serious medical problem. Such symptoms indicate stroke and must be treated in emergency room. These are critical issues that require specialist care.
Urgent care can come in handy to treat respiratory tract infections. Sometimes you have flu like symptoms that you treat at home through over-the-counter medicines and home remedies. However, if the conditions do not improve or fever does not subside it requires medical assistance. In such a situation you must head to urgent care center.
In case of a minor injury such as a twisted ankle or splint fracture urgent care is recommended. On the other hand, a serious accident in which important body parts have been damaged or bones fractured, emergency room is where treatment should be done in the supervision of specialists.
Sometimes you are suffering from a medical problem in which you wish to have immediate care rather than waiting for the doctor for his consultation time. Urgent care could be a feasible option in that case.