Urgent Care vs. Emergency Care
July 22, 2015
When should you seek urgent care rather than emergency care?
Life’s little emergencies don’t always happen during normal office hours. And sometimes what’s hurting you can’t wait until Monday morning.
But what’s the difference between emergency care and urgent care? When do you need to go to the emergency room and when is an after-hours office visit with a primary care provider more appropriate?
Emergency departments are open 24/7 and are designed to provide swift treatment for medical conditions that when left untreated could cause permanent damage or in some cases even death. Emergency physicians specialize in trauma care, advanced cardiac life support and management of other life threatening conditions. They’re trained to quickly assess and stabilize patients, and determine if patients need more advanced or specialty care. Also, emergency departments utilize a triage process that ensures that the sickest patients are always seen first.
Urgent care centers are meant for people who need to be treated right away but for conditions that aren’t life threatening or won’t cause permanent harm if not treated immediately. Urgent care centers are open during normal business hours, offer extended weekday and weekend schedules and are usually staffed by primary care providers who typically specialize in internal or family medicine. Many urgent care centers also offer on-site diagnostic testing and access to specialists.
Remember never hesitate to seek emergency care if you feel you or a loved one needs it. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
When you need to be seen right now, Backus offers many convenient options close to home:
Backus Hospital Urgent Care Centers
Colchester Backus Health Center
Montville Backus Health Center
Norwichtown Backus Family Health Center