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When should you go to Urgent Care vs ER?

Emergency care is meant to address the most serious and life-threatening health issues, while urgent care is meant to address urgent, same-day issues that are non-life-threatening. At Physicians Now Urgent Care, we also provide walk-in services at 15215 Shady Grove Road, Suite 100, Rockville, MD 20850. Also, you can also call us or schedule an appointment online for more information.

When should you go to Urgent Care vs ER?
When should you go to Urgent Care vs ER?

What is the difference between urgent care and emergency care?

Urgent care and the emergency room both provide patients with a high level of medical care on a walk-in basis. Patients can seek treatment at either location for illnesses or injuries requiring immediate or urgent medical attention that can’t wait for an appointment with their family doctor. However, emergency room visits should be reserved for life-threatening conditions where the medical staff has a high level of knowledge and experience to handle life or death situations where minutes can count in a person’s life. An emergency room is also connected to a hospital, providing any and all testing and treatment options needed for immediate care in dire situations. When patients seek medical care through an emergency room for issues that are not life-threatening, they can expect a longer wait time as the emergency cases will be prioritized. Urgent care provides a quick and convenient option for medical care to patients who need medical attention for illness or injury within a 24-hour window. Urgent care operates on a walk-in basis with patients seen in the order they arrive, so that they can be seen and treated quickly. At Physicians Now Urgent Care, we offer x-ray services as well as an on-site lab to quickly process tests as needed to assist with a diagnosis and treatment plan to get patients on their way with a resolution for the illness or injury that brought them to the clinic.

When would a patient utilize Urgent Care versus an emergency room?

Patients are best cared for through an urgent care when they are experiencing symptoms of an illness or injury that isn’t considered life-threatening but still requires medical attention in short order. Urgent care sees patients on a first-come, first-served basis, as opposed to an emergency room where patients will be bumped for higher priority medical cases. Urgent care can diagnose and treat a wide assortment of conditions and ailments for patients of all ages, including cuts, sprains, strains, minor bone fractures, insect bites, allergic reactions, sore throat, headaches, ear infections, cold and flu, and pretty much any other medical issue that isn’t life-threatening. Patients who are experiencing life-threatening symptoms must seek immediate medical attention through an emergency room, either by getting dropped off by someone else or through the services of an ambulance. Patients can also seek medical care through urgent care when their family doctor can’t get them in for several days or if the urgent care hours are more convenient with their schedule.

Is it cheaper to go to urgent care or ER?

Urgent care has many benefits for patients seeking medical attention that isn’t life-threatening. One of these benefits is a lower cost than a hospital emergency room. In most cases, urgent care clinics also offer a co-pay for many insurance companies, which will further reduce the out-of-pocket expense for patients seeking care. Emergency room visit costs can quickly and easily add up, in addition to time lost while sitting in the waiting room. At Physicians Now Urgent Care, we accept many different insurance plans and are always expanding the list to add more providers. If you are unsure if your insurance will be accepted, give us a call and we will do our best to help you figure out what is needed from your insurance prior to your visit. We want to make sure your visit is as easy as possible, and figuring out your insurance prior to your visit will help to ensure that when you are in the clinic, both you and the doctor can focus on your medical concerns.

What disease and injuries require the most immediate medical attention?

There are many reasons to seek immediate medical attention, whether from a disease or a severe injury. Chest pains, shortness of breath, fainting, heart palpitations and other symptoms that affect your heart or ability to breathe will require immediate medical attention. Injuries that cause severe pain or uncontrollable bleeding, as well as eye injuries, hand injuries, severe burns, concussions and lacerations should also seek out medical attention immediately. These types of injuries can cause permanent damage or infection if left untreated. Physicians Now Urgent Care is dedicated to the health and well-being of our patients, and ensuring that they get the best care they need. Our staff is highly trained and knowledgeable in a wide spectrum of medical conditions that would require treatment through urgent care.

For more information, call us or schedule an appointment online. We serve patients from Rockville MD, Travilah MD, Darnestown MD, Germantown MD, Gaithersburg MD, Colesville MD, and Bethesda MD.