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When deciding between the E.R or the Urgent care

Have you ever been confused or are you wondering what the difference is between urgent care centers and the emergency room? Are you trying to figure out whether you should go to one or the other? I am here to tell you the difference. First, an urgent care center is perfect for non-emergency situations. They are also great for something that starts or happens to you after your primary doctor’s office is closed. Most urgent care facilities are open at eight am and close at seven pm. There are some facilities that open earlier and close later. Here is a list of some of the health problems that an urgent care facility may treat. They may treat minor fractures, back pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Also minor headaches, bloodwork, bumps, cuts and scrapes, plus fever, although if its an infant or toddler you should probably still take them to the emergency room, ear and sinus issues, cough and/or sore throat, animal bites, stitches, sprains and strains, rashes, minor burns, and cold or flu symptoms are also treated.

Urgent Care

Now I know what your thinking but the emergency room treats the same things and you probably are familiar with the nurses and doctors there too. I have some facts that might help you make your decision about going to an urgent care facility instead of a hospital. Number one most urgent care centers only take thirty minutes to see their patients. Number two most patients are out completely in an hour. Number three all walk-ins are welcomed. And number four they are more affordable and take most insurance. Emergency rooms are for things that are life-threatening like chest pains and loss of vision, strokes and severe bleeding. Also going to an urgent care facility helps save time for those that are at the hospital for something more serious. No worries if the urgent care facility that you have visited feels as though your medical situation is too serious for them to take care of, they will call the closest hospital and have you sent there.

Then you also have Express Care centers to choose to go to. These centers are for little things like rashes or earaches, coughs and colds, pinkeye, and muscle strain. Its just like an urgent care facility except that they don’t treat as many health problems as urgent care centers do but they do the minor things and are as quick and less expensive as well.

Urgent Care

I am going to give you a little information on Urgent Care centers to make you feel more comfortable with going to one. For starters, they have been around for a lot longer than people actually know. They started back in the 1970s and most of the urgent care centers are or have been established by previous emergency medical physicians. These centers have expanded to about ten thousand since the 1970s. The industry is worth an estimated 14.5 billion. The reason why a lot of people haven’t heard about or seen these medical centers until recently is that in 2014 these centers were mainly located in urban areas with a higher income and/or a higher level of private insurance. They are now everywhere and more convenient and take more insurance than before. They also have to have a licensed physician as the medical director. They have to have on-site diagnostic equipment such as phlebotomy and x-ray. They all have procedure rooms where they can do stitches, apply casts to patients and be able to do a minor procedure where they numb the area but not actually put a patient to sleep. They can’t do procedures that would be too risky. Like I stated earlier they have to contain open communication with the hospitals for transfers.

The Urgent Care Association does not own any urgent care centers but they do provide the training, resources, and leadership for the urgent care centers. On a monthly basis, the urgent care management hosts a biannual conference where doctors, investors, and owners are taught the business aspect of the company. The Board of Certification of Urgent Care Medicine provides physicians with board certification who have the requisite training and experience. In 1997, the American Board of Urgent care medicine was founded. The first fellowship training program in urgent care procedures occurred in 2006. The city of Cleveland, Ohio made that fellowship possible. The program was partially funded by an unrestricted grant from the Urgent Care Association of America. The training included adult and pediatric wound and injury evaluation and treatment, occupational medicine and urgent care procedures. Following a study in 2012, urgent care centers are all owned by physicians or physician groups, corporations, hospitals, and franchises.


Basically just like your emergency room and hospitals, urgent care centers have been around a long time. They contain physicians that are licensed and keep in contact with the hospitals for serious illnesses and or injuries. They have boards and training techniques. They are able to get you in and out a lot quicker and are less expensive. You get the same treatment and results. There is nothing wrong with choosing one over the other. Actually it works a lot easier. You are not just helping yourself but you’re also helping other doctors. Your decision to go to an urgent care facility over a hospital helps the doctors at the hospital. The doctors there are already overloaded with patients and have a lot going on and if they can have patients go to a place that can focus more on their situation then to go somewhere where it seems like they are not there for you because of all that they have to do is better for you as well. In my opinion, I believe because I have tried these places already that they work, they are better than a busy hospital and are less time-consuming. They help you to keep up or to keep your day moving without too much of an interruption. They take all types of insurances and they are also willing to work with you if you don’t have insurance as well.

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