Is Visiting the Emergency Room the Best Idea? Probably Not.

Is Visiting the Emergency Room the Best Idea? Probably Not.

Visiting the emergency room is not always the best idea. Sometimes, it can be far better to visit an urgent care clinic for the help and treatment you need.

What to expect from the emergency room

When visiting the ER, patients receive treatment by doctors based on the severity of the emergency. Because this is where paramedics take people who have been in car accidents or suffered heart attacks or other life-threatening injuries and ailments, those cases always take precedent. This is why so many people wait for hours in an ER without being seen by a doctor. In that time, patients are likely to feel worse because sitting in the ER is significantly less comfortable than resting at home.

Once the doctor sees the patient, they triage the situation and look for ways to solve the immediate concern only. For example, an ER doctor may prescribe medication without really diving into a patient's health history. The goal is to solve the most pressing concern and then to have patients follow up with a primary care physician later on. Because of this, it is possible for an ER physician to miss some essential issues related to your personal health.

What to expect from an urgent care clinic

Patients who visit an urgent care facility typically do not need to wait very long. These locations often see patients right away and without an appointment. The understanding is that anyone who walks through the doors is feeling terrible and looking for immediate help. The idea at these locations is to make patients as comfortable as possible, see them right away and do what is necessary to provide quick relief.

In addition to identifying and treating urgent issues, the doctors at these facilities also take the time to speak with patients about their health history, other concerns they may be having and explore what issues could be contributing to their current situation. This step to investigate and get to the bottom of what is happening is something that doesn't occur in an ER. The doctor may also recommend that the patient undergo additional tests to get more complete information.

Urgent care facilities also see patients on a follow-up basis so anyone who prefers to come back to the clinic to go over test results or to monitor how treatment is working is free to do so. This is not the case in the ER, where patients cannot go back unless there is another emergency. In general, patients are usually much more comfortable speaking with the doctor who treated them initially, so this is certainly a big advantage.

Visiting the urgent care costs less than going to the ER

There is also a financial benefit to coming to an urgent care office for help instead of going to the ER. It costs significantly less to seek treatment at an urgent care location. The quality of care is just as high but what patients pay is far less.

When to visit the emergency room

There are certain situations that still require a trip to the ER. These include:

  • Having a heart attack
  • Having a stroke
  • Being in a life-threatening accident
  • Having a seizure

Otherwise, most urgent care facilities can handle most issues at that location.

Visit us for help

If you have a medical emergency that does not reach the level of requiring a trip to the ER, visit our office instead.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with MedOne Urgent Care, request an appointment in our Ocala office here: Or call us at (352) 233-4178.

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