Blog Posts

Emergency Room

Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care: How Do I Know if I Should Visit Urgent Care or Go to the ER?

Posted on Sat, Jun 17, 2017

Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care

When you or a loved one gets injured or sick, deciding where to go for care shouldn’t add to the stress of your experience. Learning about your options now will make the decision easier if the time comes that you need immediate care.

When to Use the Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care

Deciding when it’s more appropriate to go to the emergency room vs. urgent care can be confusing and overwhelming, especially in the middle of an urgent situation. The New England Health Institute stated that most emergency room visits are “totally avoidable,” indicating that the difficulty often lies in understanding the capabilities of each medical care option.

A good rule of thumb to remember is if your situation isn’t life-threatening, but requires immediate attention, urgent care is probably the right choice. For severe and life-threatening conditions, the emergency room is the more appropriate place.

Emergency-Room-vs-Urgent-Care.jpgUrgent care centers will typically cover illness such as flu and cold, fever, headaches and chills and injuries such as sprains and strains, cuts requiring stitches and minor burns. Other conditions commonly covered at urgent care include UTI, immunizations and flu shots, foreign objects in the eye, pink eye, ear aches, rashes and annual physical exams.

For more extreme conditions, such as severe abdominal pain, major trauma or laceration with uncontrollable bleeding, severe burns, shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, heart attack, chest pain or stroke, the resources available at a hospital emergency room are usually required.

How Long Does the Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care Take for Treatment?

In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the total average ER wait time is roughly 2 hours, whereas most urgent care centers are able to see walk-in patients within 15-45 minutes. In New Jersey, the average time a patient spends in the emergency room before being seen by a doctor is 27 minutes and the average time patients spend in the ER before being sent home is 155 minutes. At eMedical Urgent Care, we pledge that, on average, you’ll be seen by one of our professional providers within 30 minutes, and we will have you on your way.

Convenient Walk-In Urgent Care Available

If the symptoms are non-life threatening, then choosing an urgent care may be your best option. Many urgent care centers offer fast, convenient service.

At eMedical Urgent Care, we provide immediate walk-in care and occupational health services delivered by board-certified emergency physicians, family physicians and internists working with highly trained radiology techs and medical assistants. Our convenient hours are designed to fit your busy schedule. Learn more about our services and treatment options by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey 908.464.6700, or Middletown, New Jersey 732.957.0707. Read more on Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care on our previous blog posts:

5 Surprising Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Urgent Care
Getting Medical Care While On Vacation
Treatment for Wounds and Lacerations
Should I Bring My Child to a Walk In Clinic for the Flu?
7 Secrets Every eMedical Urgent Care Physician in NJ Wants You to Know

Share