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Urgent Care vs. Emergency Room: Which Do You Need?

Urgent Care v Emergency Room | vybe urgent care

Have you ever been in a situation and wondered if it calls for an emergency room (ER) visit? A study found two-thirds of annual ER visits in the U.S. were avoidable. Patients could have sought treatment in another setting, like a primary care office or urgent care center.

So, when you need medical treatment, where should you go? Continue reading to learn the benefits of each and what situations warrant which.

When Should I go to Urgent Care?

There are many benefits of going to your local urgent care—from financial considerations to simple convenience. If your condition is mild to moderate, urgent care can be the right choice. Here are three examples of situations where you should opt for a visit to your local vybe urgent care.

  1. Injuries
    • Q: My son hurt his foot playing basketball and is feeling some pain. Where should we be seen?
    • A: Urgent care is a great place to visit when you or anyone in your family is hurt. At vybe urgent care, we offer x-rays at each of our locations so we can best assess your injury and provide the proper treatment.
  2. Illnesses
    • Q: I cannot stop coughing and my throat is really sore. I want relief, but I don’t know what to do or where to go.
    • A: If you’re experiencing coughing, a sore throat, congestion, fever, or any cold or flu symptoms, urgent care is the place to go. At vybe, we will diagnose, test, and treat any illness symptoms you may have so you can get back to feeling better.
  3. Health Tests & Screenings
    • Q: I need to see someone quickly for a diagnostic test and need same-day results. Since I need this fast, shouldn’t I go to the ER?
    • A: Actually, urgent cares typically have faster treatment than the ER. 70% of urgent care patients wait less than 20 minutes to see a provider.

At vybe urgent care, we provide rapid diagnostic tests including urine, flu, strep, and UTI tests—with all results typically delivered same-day. For non-rapid tests, we have STD and drug screenings available. And for COVID-19, we offer both rapid and lab testing.

Other urgent care services also include:

  • Ear infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Physicals
  • Vaccinations
  • Insect or animal bites
  • Sunburns or rashes
  • Cuts, scrapes, & wounds
  • Workplace injuries & accidents
  • Blood work
  • Pregnancy testing
  • And more

When Should I go to the Emergency Room?

For life-threatening injuries or illnesses like the following, visit your nearest emergency room. In these particular situations, the ER can provide specialized testing and treatment beyond the scope of urgent care.

  • Severe chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty speaking or slurred speech
  • Seizures
  • Significant blood loss
  • Compound fractures
  • Fevers of 104 or higher

If your life is in danger or you are experiencing severe symptoms that are progressing rapidly, call 911. You will receive prompt attention from healthcare professionals during transport to the ER.

But Why Urgent Care?

Outside of the wide-range of services offered, urgent cares are also beneficial for reasons including:

  1. Same-day Care: When you visit urgent care, you see your provider the very same day. This means you can get a diagnosis and receive the treatment you need faster.
  1. Cost-Effective: Treatment for common mild to moderate conditions at the ER can be 10 times more expensive than the same treatment at urgent care. Urgent care offers an affordable alternative with the same level of quality patient care. This allows you to get the care you need without incurring the higher costs of a hospital bill
  1. Telemedicine Appointments: Unlike in the ER, you can get medical attention from the comfort of your home with telemedicine through urgent care. Whether you are choosing to stay at home for health reasons or to avoid a long commute, telemedicine appointments provide a convenient alternative for receiving care.
  1. Walk-in Availability: Receive care when you need it without scheduling weeks in advance. If your primary care provider is booked but you need prompt attention, pop into your local urgent care.
  1. Close to Home and Work: With 10+ urgent care locations in the metro Philly area (and growing), visiting urgent care like vybe may be a more affordable option than a hospital ER.

Consider vybe For Your Urgent Needs

The medical professionals who staff urgent care centers provide the same level of exceptional patient care as the staff at an ER. At vybe urgent care, we have board-certified physicians at each location, so you know your health is in good hands. 

With walk-in availability and extended hours 7 days a week, vybe makes obtaining medical care easy. Find your nearest vybe location for fast, convenient care.