Urgent care is not the same as emergency care. Emergency care and ERs are designed for life-threatening conditions that require immediate medical attention. Urgent care is for conditions that are not considered serious medical emergencies but still require speedy treatment. It can be tricky to understand the difference between the two but knowing the right place to go is important.
Emergency rooms are set up to treat the most serious and complex medical conditions. If your condition is something you would feel comfortable visiting a primary care doctor for, it most likely can be addressed at an urgent care facility. Urgent care centers treat a variety of medical problems right away and are the appropriate place to go for help if your doctor’s office is closed or you cannot wait for an appointment.
Visit your nearest urgent care for things like:
- Ear infections
- Fever or flu-like symptoms
- Small cuts that might require stitches
- Sprains, simple fractures, or broken bones (i.e. fingers and toes)
- Non-life-threatening allergic reactions
- Minor burns
- Rashes and other skin irritations
- Sunburns and heat ailments
- Mild to moderate asthma
- Coughs, colds, and sore throats
- Mild to moderate headaches
- Urinary pains
- Select immunizations
Remember: trust your instincts. If a condition feels very serious, the ER is most likely the best place. However, for smaller medical concerns, urgent care is a good option for receiving fast treatment.
Count on convenient urgent care when you need it. Find an Ochsner location near you.