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Health and Fitness

Urgent Care Vs. Emergency Care: When to Choose What

Urgent care and emergency care both point towards emergency medical situations but deal with different levels of emergency. However, due to their near similar meanings, people often get confused regarding which unit to go for during which medical situation.

If you too are confused about which emergency service to opt for, you have come to the right place. Here we will help you understand the basic differences between urgent and emergency care and provide a comprehensive list of situations deemed to require emergency or urgent care.

Emergency Care Vs. Urgent Care: Primary Differences

It is difficult to understand the exact differences between urgent care and emergency care. This happens because both these terms point to any situation that requires quick medical attention. However, these two terms are distinctly different from each other based on their level of care.

Emergency care is required when the injury or illness is fatal. These injuries or illnesses require immediate medical attention and treatment. If you ever feel like your injuries and diseases might be serious or might worsen in a short span, we suggest opting for emergency care.

Urgent care deals mostly with injuries or illnesses that need medical attention within the first 24 hours but are not immediate emergencies.

You should go to urgent care if you know the diagnosis of the illness or injury you are experiencing or if your symptoms are slow to show. People opt for an urgent care unit when they cannot get in with their primary care physicians. If you can get hold of your primary care physician, we suggest opting for that as they will be better acquainted with your medical history.

You should find the best urgent care center and emergency care unit near your home to ensure minimum confusion and panic when the need arises.

Emergency Care Vs. Urgent Care: Services Provided

Emergency care is equipped for dealing with life and death situations. They are available 24*7 throughout the year for the treatment of fatal injuries and illnesses. You will find the best doctors and physicians on duty at the emergency room – ones who are quick to respond and can save lives with their quick thinking and immense knowledge.

Emergency care also follows a federal mandate that they have to offer their services to anyone and everyone. They cannot turn away any person based on their ability to pay. So even if you do not have health insurance but require immediate medical assistance, we suggest going to the emergency room.

However, some rules are different for different emergency rooms regarding visitors. For example, the emergency room Frisco allows at most two people to accompany you during your treatment, while some do not allow any visitors at all.

Urgent care services are more laid back as compared to emergency care. They deal with minor injuries and illnesses, and people generally opt for their services when they cannot go to their regular doctors.

An urgent care unit will be equipped with the basic testing types of equipment for hearing and vision screenings, X-Rays, and other lab tests.

Unlike emergency care, urgent care does not have any federal mandate for compulsory treatment of patients. Some of them require immediate payment for their services while most like Frisco ER & Urgent Care take health insurance.

People often confuse urgent care with emergency care and end up getting their diagnosis delayed. Thus we have provided a comprehensive list of medical conditions – which situation requires which service. This will help you save precious time in the future while dealing with any such situations.

When to Opt For Urgent Care?

Following are some of the conditions that require urgent care:

  • Accidents or falls
  • Minor fractures or sprains
  • Moderate back problems
  • Moderate or mild breathing difficulties
  • Cuts that require stitches
  • Irritation and redness in the eye
  • Fever or flu
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration
  • Severe sore throat or coughing
  • Skin rashes, infections, or allergies
  • UTI (Urinary Tract Infections)

When To Opt For Emergency Care?

Following are some of the emergency care conditions that require immediate medical attention:

  • Severe Chest Pain
  • Breathing Difficulty
  • Fracture when bone is protruding out
  • Seizure, disorientation, or loss of concentration
  • High fever in a newborn
  • Uncontrollable and excessive bleeding
  • Knife or gunshot wound
  • Severe or moderate burn
  • Overdose or poisoning
  • Head, back, or neck injury
  • Pregnant complications
  • Heart attack
  • Slurred speech, concussion, weakness, numbness, or sudden loss of vision
  • Suicidal or homicidal feelings

Thus from the above, we can derive that both urgent and emergency care units deal with different levels of emergency medical situations. Keeping this list as mentioned above in mind can help you save precious time in the future while deciding which care you should opt for the best treatment.


Urgent care and emergency room both are required for immediate medical treatment. Most urgent and emergency care units like Frisco ER & Urgent Care are well-adapted to medical emergencies. However, one should also learn to keep calm to help doctors with all the required information needed for their treatment. We hope the above article helped determine the critical difference between urgent care and emergency care and what to opt for during which medical emergencies.

Josh Argenton

Josh Argenton is a well-known blogger who has been writing for the last several years. He has written blogs and articles on a wide range of topics including technology, health & beauty, sports, business, food, animal, entertainment, home improvements and much more. He helps brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing.

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