If you have an illness or an accident, you may wonder who to turn to for treatment- especially when you cannot see your primary care provider.
Some conditions are life-threatening, such as chest pain or stroke (even if there is any suspicion on your part), and if you went to an urgent care clinic, you would be sent to the ER in an ambulance.
Also, if your condition is not life-threatening but still is outside the scope of the services offered in our clinic, we would divert you to an emergency room. Examples include angulated fractures or significant eye injuries, etc.
However, if your condition is less severe but still requires immediate attention, choosing our urgent care will save you a lot of time and money, as well as keep our local emergency room free to handle more serious situations.
When should I go to the emergency room?
Hospitals can treat a range of injuries and illnesses from minor to major. They can do more complicated testing such as ultrasounds, MRIs, and CAT scans. They are the best choice if there is a chance that you may be admitted for further observation.
Conditions, where it is best to go to the emergency room over an urgent care, can include:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Severe bleeding or head trauma
- Loss of consciousness
- Sudden loss of vision or blurred vision
When should I go to an Urgent Care Center?
Essentially, urgent care physicians care for the same illnesses and accidents that your primary doctor can. They are clinics that open on evenings and weekends when most physician offices are closed. Urgent care centers can provide routine injury treatment and medical care.
They can also perform imaging such as x-rays but usually not MRIs or CAT scans. Urgent care can also provide simple lab tests.
Illnesses and accidents that can be addressed at an urgent care include:
- Minor burns or injuries
- Nausea, vomiting, stomach virus, etc
- Urinary tract infections (uncomplicated)
- Sprains and strains
- Coughs, colds, and sore throats
- Ear infections
- Allergic reactions (non-life-threatening)
- Fever or flu-like symptoms
- Rash or other skin irritations
- Mild asthma
- Animal bites
- Broken Bones (non-angulated, where the bone has not broken the skin)
Important Consideration: Urgent Care Vs the Emergency Department
Wait times will vary
Urgent care centers serve those with lower acuity conditions, so can usually be seen quickly. Emergency rooms triage, so those who are higher acuity are seen first, and those with a lower acuity have to wait.
Cost is a Factor
Usually, it is a higher copay for emergency room services. It is worth considering if your illness or accident can be better addressed at urgent care centers where the cost is lower.
Urgent Care Physicians Know Their Limits
In an emergency, every minute counts. If a patient is severely ill, physicians will know to send them to the emergency room quickly.
Are You in Need of Urgent Care Services
UrgentCare MDs offer both primary care and urgent care services in Baytown and Crosby. If you are questioning if urgent care is appropriate to address your illness or injury then contact us; we can help!
For medical consultations, you can visit:
UrgentCare MDs offers two convenient locations to serve you and your family:
- UrgentCare MDs in Baytown
1658 West Baker Rd,
Baytown, Texas 77521
- UrgentCare MDs in Crosby
14405 FM 2100, Ste. B
Crosby, Texas 77532
We also offer COVID testing at both of our locations, so if you question the symptoms you are experiencing, visit us to get the correct diagnosis! We look forward to being your partner in care!
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health