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When to Go to Urgent Care Compared to the Emergency Room

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Bellevue medical clinic

When you are in pain, it is tough to make decisions. But one thing you should be sure of is that you are getting proper medical care wherever you go. Urgent care clinics are a great option as you can get high quality medical care with little to no wait compared to the emergency room. There are currently 20,000 physicians who practice Urgent Care Medicine, with over 3 million patients visiting each week. Additionally, urgent care facilities are normally open seven days a week, providing a convenient option.

But, it is important to understand the differences between both medical facilities. Read on below to learn when you should go to both.

Emergency Room Visits

Emergency rooms are for actual life threatening emergencies. These are for patients who cannot wait to see their doctor, and need medical attention right away. This can include heart attack or chest pain, strokes or symptoms that one has happened, head trauma, severe bone breaks,or deep, open wounds. 

Urgent Care Visits

Urgent care centers are a fantastic option to get treatment if your doctor is unavailable. They are meant for patients who have non life threatening symptoms that can be treated by a doctor, but if it is after hours or your doctor is not available then this medical facility would be your next best option. They are equipped with friendly nurses and doctors that can treat general injuries, the common cold and respiratory infections, allergic reactions, ear infections, or bone fractures and sprains.

They are also able to administer specific vaccines, so if you need your flu shot but don’t have time for a doctors appointment head here! In addition, these centers are equipped with x-ray technology on site, and laboratory testing. So if you have an ankle sprain, you will be able to walk into your clinic and not have to travel someplace else for different tests!

One large factor that people enjoy about urgent care is the fact they are inexpensive as opposed to the emergency room. Anyone concerned about medical debt, or the large costs of being seen in a hospital should find their closest walk in clinic to save money. The average cost is about $150 per patient, as opposed to the thousands you might have to spend in the ER.

So, when you get sick next head to your closest clinic!

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