SignatureCare Emergency Center Austin Emergency Room, Austin, TX

What is the Difference Between Urgent Care Clinics and Emergency Rooms?

If you are experiencing an issue with your health, then it is important to choose the right facility to help you get the treatment you need. Urgent care clinics and emergency rooms are just two of the types of facilities that may be able to assist you according to the severity of your concerns.

Urgent Care Clinics Vs. Emergency Rooms

Urgent care clinics are designed to treat minor health concerns. These clinics are usually:

  • Staffed by a nurse practitioner, a physician’s assistant or a physician
  • Closed on weekends and holidays
  • Used for treating ear infections, sprains, urinary tract infections, rashes, insect bites, sore throats and other minor health issues

Freestanding emergency rooms are equipped to handle emergency health concerns, and they are not attached to hospitals. These facilities often:

  • Employ emergency medicine physicians and registered nurses
  • Offer laboratory and pharmaceutical services
  • Provide cardiac monitoring
  • Have the equipment necessary to perform X-rays, CT scans and ultrasounds
  • Remain open 24/7

When Should I Visit an Emergency Room?

If you want to avoid visiting a doctor’s office but want to be treated for a virus, respiratory infection or other troublesome health concerns, then an urgent care clinic may be exactly what you need. However, if you have a medical emergency, an emergency center can provide you with excellent care without requiring you to drive to a hospital. In addition to its exceptional service and convenience, a freestanding emergency room has the staff available to ensure that your wait is as short as possible.