Urgent Care vs ER Questions and Answers
AFC Urgent Care Easley, SC offers quality affordable and convenient urgent care when you need it. Walk-In today to experience the care you deserve for your urgent care needs. We are located at 5208 Calhoun Memorial Hwy Suite C Easley, SC 29640.
In the current world of medicine, there exists a plethora of different medical facilities, from hospital complexes to standalone clinics. With the abundance of options, it can be difficult to know where to go and when. Since urgent care clinics have been around, a lot of confusion has sprung up as to when these facilities should be utilized. In simplest terms, urgent care clinics are designed to handle urgent yet non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses, whereas hospital emergency rooms are designed to handle the most severe medical emergencies.
Is Urgent Care faster than ER?
Urgent care is usually faster than the ER. This is because urgent care clinics handle medical situations of less severity and can therefore treat patients quicker. One reason why hospital ERs have longer waiting times is because they are handling situations that are not considered medical emergencies, which greatly increases patient wait times as this causes hospitals to work at maximum capacity, or even overcapacity.
What is the difference between urgent care and emergency care?
Urgent care and emergency care differ in the following ways:
Severity of Health Problems Treated — An emergency room treats life- or limb-threatening health situations in patients of all ages and is the best option when an injury, illness or condition requires immediate medical attention. Urgent care is the perfect place to go for minor illnesses or injuries that cannot wait until tomorrow, hence the name ‘urgent’. It is also a good option for illnesses or injuries that are not present with other symptoms. For example, an earache can easily be treated at an urgent care center, but if it is accompanied by a high fever (104º F or higher), it could be indicative of a more serious concern and should be evaluated at emergency care.
Hours and Staff — Emergency departments are open 24/7 and are staffed with physicians, specialists, and nurses of all backgrounds. These departments have quick access to expert providers in advanced specialties and also have the most advanced imaging and laboratory resources needed to diagnose and deliver care for severe and life-threatening situations. Although some urgent care clinics have physicians on staff, like AFC Urgent Care in Easley, SC, they typically have physician assistants, nurse practitioners and nurses on site. To help them provide diagnoses and develop treatment plans, urgent care centers can order basic labs and imaging tests, such as X-rays. Urgent care clinics have set hours and, while they are not open 24/7 like the ER, they are usually open during evenings and weekends, when doctors’ offices are typically closed.
When should I go to urgent care vs ER?
AFC Urgent Care and other urgent care centers are perfect for most non-emergency situations. They are also ideal if something happens outside of normal hours of the doctor’s office. For example, AFC Urgent Care in Easley, SC, is open until 8:00 PM on weekdays and from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on weekends, when most doctors’ offices are typically closed. Urgent care centers can treat:
- Minor fractures
- Back pain
- Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
- Minor headaches
- Bumps, cuts and scrapes
- Fever (infants with a fever should be treated at the ER)
- Ear or sinus pain
- Cough or sore throat
- Animal bites
- Sprains and strains
- Mild asthma
- Foreign objects in the eyes or nose
- Rashes and minor burns
- Burning with urination
- Eye irritation, swelling or pain
- Minor allergic reactions
- Cold or flu symptoms
The following conditions may indicate a medical emergency and should always be treated at an ER:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Head trauma
- Severe bleeding
- Loss of vision
- High fever (over 104º F)
What are the benefits of visiting an urgent care clinic instead of an ER?
Urgent care clinics offer a number of benefits over a visit to the ER, such as:
- Shorter wait times
- Walk-in appointments
- Much more affordable care
- Are in convenient, nearby locations
- Most urgent care centers take insurance
If you are looking for a quality urgent care clinic you can trust, come to AFC Urgent Care in Easley, SC. Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in treating a wide range of illnesses and injuries and can help you on the road to recovery! Call us today to book an appointment, or visit our clinic conveniently located at 5208 Calhoun Memorial Hwy Suite C, Easley, SC 29640. We look forward to serving you! We serve patients from Easley, Clemson, Anderson, Boiling Springs, Duncan, Greenwood, and Powdersville.