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Urgent Care or Emergency Room

Urgent care centers and emergency rooms can treat many of the same things, so when should you choose one over the other? While they provide many of the same services, they do not have the same pricing or wait times. Here is information to help you make the best decision when picking between the two.

Urgent Care

Urgent care's are normally quicker than the ER and are more cost effective. They are your best choice if your condition isn’t life-threatening but needs to be taken care of right away

Here are the types of services urgent care center cover:

  • Flu or Cold
  • Immunizations (such as flu shots)
  • Fever, Headaches, and Chills
  • Sprains
  • After-Hours Care

Emergency Room

Emergency room's cost more and prioritize patients by the severity of their condition. They are your best choice for treating severe and life-threatening conditions.

Here are some of the services that require an emergency room:

  • Major Trauma or Accident
  • Loss of Consciousness
  • Heart Attack or Chest Pain
  • Uncontrollable Bleeding

While an ER could treat any of the urgent care issues, it is not always your best option because emergency rooms are busier and more expensive. Also, it is important to note that urgent care centers can not treat everything emergency rooms can. The average urgent care visit costs patients $71-125 for basic care and can see walk-in patients within 15-45 minutes. The average emergency room visit costs $1,318 with an average wait time of 2.4 hours. However, that wait time does not express the time patients will spend waiting for services while in the doctor's office. In most cases, an urgent care center helps patients through the system much faster, as its care is more limited and specific.