When you need medical attention it is extremely important to understand your options so that you can receive the care that best addresses your needs/situation. One common area of confusion is the difference between free-standing emergency centers, such as Golden Triangle Emergency Center, and urgent cares. Some people who are unfamiliar with the intricacies of these centers may assume that they serve exactly the same role, however, that is not the case. Taking a closer look at the way these two types of medical centers differ can help you make the most informed decision about yours and your family’s medical care.
The Difference Between Free-Standing Emergency Centers and Urgent Cares
The fundamental difference between free-standing emergency centers and urgent cares are that free-standing emergency centers are able to treat a much wider range of health issues. Free-standing emergency centers can treat everything from a cold or rash up to a heart attack or severe physical trauma. Patients who require surgeries are transported by ambulance from free-standing emergency centers to hospitals; however, the free-standing emergency center is able to provide life-saving, emergency care that can stabilize patients long enough to get them into surgeries. Free-standing emergency centers are also able to offer fast care, with less wait time than either traditional emergency rooms.
By contrast urgent care centers are not designed to handle emergency medical crises. Instead they are designed to provide treatment for less serious ailments and injuries that require urgent attention, but that are non-life threatening. They are a good solution for patients who would normally see their primary care physicians to address the type of health issue they are facing, but are unable to because it is outside of regular business hours, they were unable to get an appointment, or because they are out of town, or too far away.
When to Go to an Emergency Room or Emergency Center
It is important to take sudden, severe health issues seriously and when in doubt always opt for the emergency center or emergency room if you believe you could be experiencing a serious or life-threatening condition. Some, but certainly not all, of the potential health crises that may require an immediate trip to the emergency room include the following:
- Severe bleeding
- Large open wounds
- Chest pains or severe heart palpitations
- Difficulty breathing
- Serious burns
- Extreme pain
- Sudden, severe headache
- Sudden loss of consciousness
- Very high fevers
- Head injuries
- Injuries to the eye
When Going to an Urgent Care May be Sufficient
Individuals who are experiencing non-urgent injuries or sickness may prefer to wait and see their primary care physicians, since a primary care physician is typically more familiar with the patient’s health history and overall condition. However, sometimes a non-serious health issue may still require urgent attention to prevent it from escalating or because the patient would be too uncomfortable waiting for treatment at a doctor’s office. Some such conditions include, but are not limited to the following:
- Minor physical trauma
- Mild or moderate fever
- Painful urination
- Persistent diarrhea
Golden Triangle Emergency Center is an emergency center, not an urgent care. We are proud to offer comprehensive medical care to our patients and can treat their serious, life-threatening conditions as well as less serious health issues. With shorter wait times and an enhanced focus on patient comfort we provide the gold standard in emergency care. Our patients can count on us for next-level care from compassionate, friendly doctors, nurses, and other health personnel.