For the most part, when you need to go to an Emergency Room is obvious. For major medical emergencies, everyone knows to go to an ER. But what if it’s not life-threatening? What if it’s a serious condition, but you don’t think it’s a medical emergency? Can you still go to the ER? Should you? Sometimes it’s not always easy to decide where to go. While going to the Emergency room is always an option you have, it might not always be the best option. We will tell you what you need to know to help you decide.
What is the main difference between Urgent Care and an Emergency Room?
We get asked this question a lot. A first glance, you may not see a difference at all. And in fact, there is very little that separates these two medical facilities apart. The major difference though, is that an Urgent Care center is not required to have always a Physician on staff. These means it’s entirely possible for you to go to an Urgent Care center, and never be seen by a Physician. Also, what separates these two facilities is the level of care you would get.
“Recognizing the differences between ‘emergency’ and ‘urgent’ care can be confusing, because both terms imply there is a medical need that needs to be addressed quickly,” says Shawn Evans, MD, an emergency medicine physician at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. “However, there are distinct differences between emergency rooms and traditional urgent care centers, including the level of care that can be provided at each.”
Emergency Rooms provide medical care at any time, day or night. However, unlike urgent care centers, they are equipped and staffed for even the most complex or critical needs, including life- and limb-threatening situations ranging from heart attack and stroke to traumatic injuries following a car accident.
At Highland Park Emergency Room, you no longer have to deal with the less than sterile crowded waiting rooms of a traditional ERs while you suffer with symptoms such as vomiting, abdominal pain, fever or other alarming conditions.
Features of our facilities include:
- Board-certified emergency medicine physicians
- ER/ICU trained nurses
- Specialty trained healthcare professionals
- Open 24/7, including holidays
- Private patient rooms
- Inviting atmosphere with no wait time
- Adult and pediatric urgent care services
- Well-stocked on-site pharmacy with IV medications such as antibiotics, cardiac antiarrhythmics, and blood thinners.
- Digital imaging equipment including X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds
- Laboratory tests such as complete blood counts, metabolic panels, cardiac enzymes, liver tests, urinalysis, and drug screens