Choosing Between Urgent Care and an ER

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Choice of Urgent Care

Many times when a medical situation emerges, people automatically head to the emergency room. This isn’t always the best option, however. Many emergency room visits are expensive and lead to unnecessary treatment and testing. A serious medical situation that is not an actual emergency can often be better handled by visiting a center offering urgent care in Jacksonville.

When to Head to the Emergency Room

The emergency room should be your first destination in the event of an actual emergency. What constitutes an emergency though? Things like chest pain, signs of stroke, a temperature of over 103 degrees, severe pain, or injuries with lots of blood all constitute excellent reasons to skip the urgent care and head to the nearest hospital emergency room. Here are some other reasons to do so:

  • Intense bleeding
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Large open wounds
  • Sudden weakness or difficulty speaking.
  • Chest pain
  • Spinal injuries
  • Major burns
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe head injuries
  • Major broken bones

Nearly 30% of visits to the emergency room aren’t urgent and would be better served at an urgent care center. Some patients choose to visit the hospital due to a lack of insurance. Those who have insurance can save both money and time by choosing urgent care in Jacksonville.

When to Visit Urgent Care Facilities

Urgent care centers often have much shorter wait times than the emergency room. They can also handle situations when your primary physician cannot open an appointment for you. The patients seen in urgent care are treated quickly, sometimes after hours, and for many different medical issues. Here are some of the medical situations where you should think about visiting an urgent care clinic:

  • Small Cuts
  • Sprains
  • Minor infections
  • Strains
  • Sore throats
  • Minor burns
  • Rashes

An urgent care center may be more expensive than an appointment with your primary physician but will nearly always be cheaper than the emergency room. Also, urgent care centers staff doctors who can handle more serious injuries than the clinics you might find at big box stores.

Choosing the Right Level of Care

If you have medical needs, take time to consider if it is an emergency. If it’s not, an urgent care center might be the better option. If you believe the problem is life-threatening, you should go to the emergency room instead. If you’re looking for an urgent care center nearby, consider Injury Care Centers. You can learn more about us at


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