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ER vs. Urgent Care: How to Determine which is Better for your Symptoms

ER vs. Urgent Care: How to Determine which is Better for your Symptoms

Illness and injury don’t have a set schedule. They seem to arise when it’s least convenient for you. Whether it be abdominal pain in the middle of the night, or a cold that comes straight out of nowhere. When these events occur, it can be hard determining where to go for treatment, especially if he doctor’s office is closed. For this we have Urgent care and the emergency room. Though both are treatment centers, neither are equipped to handle the same thing. If you are wondering whether you should go to the ER or Urgent Care in Albany GA area, here is a good reference guide on how to determine which is best for which illness/injury.

When should you go to the ER?
An emergency room is recommended when the ailment you’re dealing with requires immediate, or advanced treatment, the equipment/staff for which can only be found in a hospital setting. Essentially, you should ask the question “Can this wait?” If the answer is no: Emergency room is the best option. Examples of this include:

  • Constant chest pain spreading to your jaw or arm
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Testicular pain
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Broken or dislocated bones
  • Altered mental state

While this doesn’t cover even half of the conditions that call for an emergency room, you get the idea. If it can’t wait, it needs the ER.

When should you go to Urgent Care?

Urgent care centers are meant as a doctor’s office, when the doctor’s office is closed. They are equipped to handle serious medical issues, even immediate ones, but not ones that are considered true medical emergencies. Medical issues that are best treated by Urgent Care include, but are not limited to:

  • High fever, but without the rash
  • Painful urination
  • Vomiting
  • Constant diarrhea
  • Sore throat
  • And minor physical trauma

Regardless of which you go to, it’s always a good idea to bring a list of all the medications you take. They will ask about it, and if it isn’t something you memorize, it’s a wise policy. An urgent care center is there when you doctor is unavailable, though they should not be seen as a replacement for a primary care physician.

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