In his video series “Long Story Short,” family doctor David Long provides quick, practical tips that help viewers take care of their health. This particular video tackles a common source of confusion: not knowing whether to go to an emergency room or an urgent care clinic or facility. Not only do many people confuse the two services, but it can be difficult to make the best decision when you’re focused on getting help.
For those people who believe they might have a life-threatening condition, the emergency room is the best solution because every moment counts. However, patients should expect to pay more at the ER, and the wait may be considerably longer if there are people with more severe conditions waiting to be seen.
Urgent care is ideal for many injuries and acute illnesses, including fractured bones or sprained joints. These services cost less, and the wait time is typically much shorter. Some urgent care clinics even offer the convenience of drive-up service!
Finally, patients should know that some emergency rooms are now standalone clinics not attached to larger facilities. However, they still charge higher prices and should be reserved for life-threatening issues only.