5718 W. Gate City Boulevard
Greensboro, NC 27407
336-738-1691 336-738-1691

What’s the Difference Between Urgent Care & the ER?

If you have a medical issue that you either want or need to have looked at right away, then you may not be able to schedule an appointment to see a family doctor at a time that is convenient for you. In such a case, you have two other options. You can go to the ER (Emergency Room) or you can go to a Greensboro urgent care. The following are the differences between an ER and an urgent care clinic that you should know in order to determine which you should go to.

The Type of Treatment

If you experience a life threatening injury, then you should go to an ER every single time. They have the most advanced equipment and treatment options available to treat any severe injuries that could be a threat to your life. If you have any injuries or illnesses that are not life threatening, you may want to consider going to an urgent care clinic. There, you can get anything from a sprain to the flu treated. You can also go to urgent care for vaccinations and other preventative treatments as well.

The Wait Times

One of the reasons why you should go to an urgent care instead of an ER if your injuries or illnesses are not life threatening is the wait times. At an ER, they will see to patients whose conditions are the most severe first. Because of this, you could end up waiting hours upon hours to see someone about a minor injury. In fact, whereas around 88.6 percent of all urgent care patients will be seen within an hour, around 71 percent of patients at an ER could end up waiting upwards of four hours.

The Cost

Going to the ER tends to be more expensive than going to an urgent care clinic. According to the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine, the average cost of a visit to urgent care is between $50 and $150. This is because most patients are able to use their health insurance and only have to pay a small copay. Those who are uninsured do typically have to pay more. However, the median cost of going to the ER is $1,233 according to a 2013 study performed by the National Institute of Health.

The Hours

One of the things that make an urgent care more convenient that family practices are its long hours. For example, at MEDIQ Urgent Care, we are open from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM during the week and 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM during the weekend. Of course, ERs are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which means if you have a medical emergency after our hours, you should visit the ER. An urgent care clinic tends to be less expensive and quicker than an ER. However, if you are experiencing a life threatening emergency, you should visit the ER.

Pre-register online at our MEDIQ Urgent Care clinic in Greensboro to make unscheduled walk-ins even more convenient.