Sometimes when you get sick or injured, it’s hard to know what to do. Maybe you’ve suddenly been hit with a very high fever and body aches, and you’re struggling to get out of bed. Or, perhaps your child fell their his bike and hurt their shoulder. In the moment, it’s difficult to know if you need to go to the ER or urgent care. So, what is the best time to go to urgent care? Is it serious enough for the emergency room? And, is it too serious for urgent care?
When unexpected physical challenges occur, it’s hard to slow down and think rationally. That’s why it’s important to take some time to learn the differences between the emergency room and urgent care. This way, when the unexpected happens, you are prepared to spring into action.
When Urgent Care is Right for You
If your condition or injury is considered non-life-threatening, urgent care is likely the correct option for you or the person you are caring for. A sore throat, minor fever, mild allergic reaction, and ear infection are all examples of conditions that are well-suited for urgent care.
These facilities also have access to a variety of testing equipment such as EKG, lab services, and X-rays. They even have access to more advanced testing like ultrasound, CT, and MRI scans.
But what about bodily injuries such as broken bones, burns, cuts, and sprains? Urgent care can help with that as well. Unless the injury appears to be life-threatening or especially troubling, these facilities have the physicians, nurses, and equipment needed to help.
When your condition could be considered life-threatening, the ER is the place to go. If you fear that you or a loved one is having a heart attack, stroke, or has lost consciousness, go to the emergency room immediately. The ER has more resources and specialists available to treat potentially serious illnesses and injuries. There is no need to call ahead, just go straight to your nearest emergency room.
Illnesses and Injuries Suited for Urgent Care
Here are some examples of conditions that are best suited for urgent care:
- Acid reflux
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Strep throat
- Sinus infections
- Ear infections
- Minor burns
- Urinary tract infections
- Vaccines and physical exams
Illnesses, Symptoms, and Injuries that Prompt the Emergency Room
As for the emergency room, here are some symptoms and conditions to watch out for:
- Bleeding that can’t be stopped
- Chest pain
- A sudden, severe headache
- A long-lasting severe fever
- Shortness of breath
- Concussion or head injuries
If you are someone you know is experiencing these symptoms or conditions, the ER is open and available 24/7.
Do I Need to Make an Urgent Care Appointment?
If you prefer to do so, we take appointments over the phone or online. However, making an urgent care appointment is not necessary. Simply walk in.
It is encouraged that potential patients come in during the late morning or early afternoon. This is the least busy time of day. Early morning and dinnertime are often the busiest. Make sure to bring a photo ID and all insurance cards. Please bring a list of all medications or nutritional supplements you take as well. BASS Urgent Care accepts most insurance health plans as well as cash, personal checks, and credit cards.
Is Urgent Care Open Every Day?
Clinics are closed for major holidays But, on other days, Walnut Creek Urgent Care is open Monday through Friday. Stop in anytime from 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM on weekdays. For an appointment or any questions, call 925-318-9822.