Urgent Care and Emergency Room 5 Differences Between the Two

Denver co urgent care

There is a variety of options when it comes to obtaining proper care in a hurry. Many people have a primary care physician, but for one reason or another you find that you are not able to get to them so you must choose between another facility. When deciding on facilities you may be wondering what is urgent care and what makes them different from an Emergency room. There are a few differences between the two facilities, read below to see them.


When wondering what is urgent care and what makes them different, knowing the difference in the hours they serve the public is important. Emergency rooms are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week yet urgent care centers are not open like that. Urgent care centers offer longer and more convenient hours compared with doctors offices, but they typically still close by 9. The time of your incident can play a part in your choice of facilities.


There is going to be a significant difference in price between urgent care and emergency rooms. This price difference is typical among those with or without insurance. A trip to urgent care will not cost nearly as much as a trip to the emergency room, but this is because of the situations both are expected to handle. Urgent care centers are equipped with staff who handle matters that need urgent attention while an emergency room is equipped with trained staff who handle emergency situations, sometimes involving life threatening emergency situations.


There is a significant difference in the amount of time that you will have to wait to be seen depending on where you go. Those visiting an urgent care center can expect quicker visits in order to get on their way. The average wait at an emergency room is over 4 hours, meaning unless you have a dire situation you will save time and money by going to urgent care as opposed to the emergency room.

Urgent Care Situations

Choose urgent care for the following conditions: Flu and cold conditions and sore throat conditions. Those experiencing high fever, diarrhea, minor burns and deep cuts should consider going to an urgent care facility. Approximately four out of five urgent care centers are equipped to provide care for fractures, making urgent care a better choice for bone injuries. These symptoms can be addressed quickly and you can be on your way.

Emergency Room Situations

There are certain times when it makes more sense to visit your local ER rather than an urgent care service. Some of these instances include broken bones that result in bones sticking out of the skin. Cuts that result in blood spilling out in spurts. Head injuries with loss of consciousness and chest pains especially when accompanied by weakness in the legs or arms should also warrant an ER trip rather than a walk in urgent care center.

Urgent care facilities and emergency rooms both provide exceptional care with minimal but significant differences. Over 20% of urgent care facilities see more than 450 patients per week. This means that as your searching to see what is urgent care, you can rest assured knowing the provide accurate care.

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