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ER vs Urgent Care

ER vs. Urgent Care: Know the Difference!

Health is more important than ever. Which is why it is extremely important to know the difference between ERs (emergency rooms) and urgent care facilities. Knowing this will not only save you time but also money since, on average, emergency rooms cost more for the same treatment you would receive from an urgent care site.

As defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an emergency room is “a hospital room or area staffed and equipped for the reception and treatment of persons requiring immediate medical care”.

Whereas urgent care is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “medical care provided for illnesses or injuries that require prompt attention but are typically not of such seriousness as to require the services of an emergency room”.

According to St. George’s University School of Medicine:

“Urgent care clinics are not a replacement for emergency departments.”

Things an Urgent Care Facility Can Handle:

  • Minor cuts—some that require stitches
  • Cold and flu symptoms
  • Sprains and strains
  • Nausea
  • Urinary tract infections and other infections
  • Minor Burns
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
  • Ear Pain

Things an ER can handle:

  • Badly displaced broken bones
  • Extreme chest pain and difficulty breathing
  • Drug overdoses
  • Change in mental state
  • Head injury
  • Seizures
  • Severe cuts or burns
  • Sudden dizziness or numbness
  • Severe allergic reactions

Here at Primary Health Network, we offer both walk-in clinic treatments at various locations as well as a virtual express care option. To learn more about our virtual express care, visit the Express Care service button on our website at

Remember, if you are having a severe or life-threatening injury or illness, don’t wait; call 911.

Category Health, PHN News, Prevention
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