Urgent Care Clinic Vs. Hospital Emergency Room: Which is Better?

Ideally, when you have a health problem, you need to visit your primary physician. However, more often than not your doctor may not be able to assist when an accident occurs, and visiting Austin Express ER is your best solution.

The emergency room and the urgent care clinic are different and here are a few differences:

1. The Type of Injury

Urgent care clinics are designed to handle minor medical conditions that are not life-threatening. Emergency rooms, on the other hand, are for serious and potentially fatal conditions.

You can walk into a clinic nearby when you have minor fractures, back pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, fever, minor headaches, coughs, sprains and stitches, mild allergies, asthma, rashes, cold and flu symptoms.

If they are life-threatening symptoms, visit our Temple Express ER for assistance. Some of the symptoms to watch out for include chest pain, difficulty breathing, stroke, head trauma, loss of vision, severe burns, wounds, injuries, and bleeding.

2. The Service Given 

Emergency rooms are for serious and fatal conditions, therefore, you are given attention depending on the severity of your health problem. If the disease is not life-threatening, you may end up waiting for hours before a doctor examines you.

Urgent care clinics have the first-come, first-served policy and therefore a doctor can attend to you quickly.

When you arrive at our Abilene Express ER, you will be taken to the triage for assessment. The nurse will take your body vitals to determine how serious the symptoms are. 

Remember, sometimes San Antonio Express ER can be overcrowded and it will take time to get treated, so carry something to keep you busy and also reduce anxiety.

3. The Staff

Urgent care clinics depend on family physicians and specialists to assess patients. Sometimes, the clinics work with medical assistants and nurses. Our Harker Heights Express ER is managed by board-certified specialists, doctors, and nurses.

4. Facilities and Equipment

Emergency rooms are fully equipped with modern equipment to be able to diagnose and treat various medical conditions. That is, however, not the case with urgent care clinics which have basic equipment such as modern x-rays, lab testing equipment, and ECG machines.

5. Hours of Operation 

Most of our Emergency rooms including Waco express ER are open all through the year including holidays, while urgent care operates every day of the week, but only until 9 pm. 

6. Access to Medication 

Most urgent care centers keep a stock of medications such as antibiotics and antiviral drugs on site to dispense to patients. When you visit an emergency room nearby the doctor will only prescribe the medication for purchase at your local pharmacy. 

7. Costs

Emergency rooms are expensive compared to urgent care clinics. Why is that? Well, according to the law, ER doctors are supposed to treat you regardless of whether you have money or not. To cover the deficit, the ER staff will charge high rates to every other person who can afford to pay. Also, they are expensive because of the kind of service offered.

Urgent care, in contrast, can’t treat you unless you pay. The good news is most insurance providers can cover some of the costs. However, if you don’t have insurance, you may be forced to cater for the costs.

Take note: medical insurance providers don’t cover ER visits unless it’s a life-threatening disease because of the cost.

Which is Better?

This depends on the type of injury and severity. If the condition is not life-threatening, visiting an ER may not be the best option. Yes, you will be treated you if you don’t have the money at hand, but the waiting period is long because they treat people based on the severity of the disease.

Urgent care clinics, on the other hand, will attend to you immediately. On the downside, they have limited service and hours, most urgent care centers are closed by 9 pm. Furthermore, you will have to pay upfront before service is given and if you don’t have insurance it can be an inconvenience.