Urgent Care Center Vs. Emergency Rooms. Which One Should I Use? 

Urgent care in Middletown, NY continues gaining popularity especially due to the overcrowding that is typical of most emergency rooms. Most people are often confused over which one they should go to when a medical issue arises as both offer almost identical services. Understanding your treatment options ensures that you get the right kind of care at the right time.

What warrants urgent care?
All urgent care centers have medical professionals that are trained to deal with non-life threatening situations. Most of them also offer extended hours of service and are open throughout the week. Conditions that could cause you to seek urgent care include:-

  • Simple sprains and fractures
  • Fever
  • Persistent diarrhea and stomach flu
  • Skin irritation and allergies
  • Minor burns
  • Infections
  • Animal bites
  • Lacerations and suture removal
  • Headaches

Benefits of urgent care centers

Shorter wait times – emergency rooms are mostly crowded. Thus you have to wait longer to be attended to. The average waiting time in urgent care centers is under an hour. This makes them highly convenient especially if you are on your way to work or to school.

They are less costly – compared to emergency care costs, urgent care costs significantly less.

Extended hours – as already stated, most urgent care centers are open throughout the week and offer extended hours. This adds to their convenience.

Proper treatment – urgent care centers have qualified doctors who can handle minor conditions before they become life-threatening. While the care providers in urgent care in Middletown, NY might not be your primary health care providers, they will access your medical history to help them serve you better.

When should you visit an emergency room?
Emergency rooms are meant for life-threatening or limb-threatening conditions that require advanced treatment or immediate surgery. Such facilities are open 24/7 which is their major advantage over urgent care centers. They also offer fast access to a wide range of specialists. The high level of care typical of emergency centers makes them quite costly. Should life-threatening symptoms arise unexpectedly, call 911 immediately. Conditions that warrant one to visit the emergency centers include:-

  • Severe bleeding
  • Sudden chest pains. Such could be a sign of a heart attack
  • Signs of stroke such as numbness in the limbs
  • Loss of consciousness and seizures
  • Partial or complete limb amputation as well as spinal injuries
  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Drug overdose
  • Severe vomiting and diarrhea
  • Poisoning
  • Severe burns
  • Suicidal thoughts

The major downside of emergency rooms is that you could end up paying the medical bill yourself. This happens if your insurance company concludes that the condition that caused you to go to the ER was not an emergency. 
If you are unsure of whether your condition needs emergency care, visit an urgent care facility. You will be referred to an ER if need be.