Urgent Care vs. ER?

What happens when you get injured or are sick, and your doctor isn’t available? You may consider an urgent care visit versus going to the Emergency Room. But, what is the better choice?

In the past, many people turned to emergency rooms if their primary care doctor was unavailable. However, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, only about 15% of patients seen in emergency rooms have genuine emergencies.

Urgent care centers were developed to fill the space between hospital emergency rooms and your primary care doctor’s office. They are typically staffed with doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, and technicians that are trained to treat various medical conditions.

Urgent care facilities like Bayside Urgent Care Center provide expert medical care. And, we offer advantages other medical facilities can’t provide.

Faster Service

According to Hospital Stats, the average emergency room waiting time in Pinellas County is about 3 hours. Actual wait times vary depending on the day of the week, time of day and severity of the injury or illness.  You may have a long wait at an ER as patients with life-threatening emergencies are treated first. If your condition is not life-threatening, you will wait before seeing a medical personnel.

Visit Bayside Urgent Care Center in Clearwater, FL

Approximately 85% of ER visits do not require critical medical care.

See our list of services for a run-down of some of the conditions we treat.

For these injuries and illnesses, a visit to an urgent care center may be best. At Bayside Urgent Care Center, our experienced medical staff sees patients with the following:

  • Animal Bites
  • Back Pain

  • Broken Bones

  • Bug Bites

  • Colds
  • Cuts and Scrapes

  • Diarrhea
  • Fevers
  • Flu
  • Headaches & Migraines
  • Lab Testing & Blood Work
  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • Physicals
  • Rashes
  • Sprains
  • Stomach Pain
  • Strep Throat
  • Work Injuries and more!

Urgent Care Provides Care for a Lower Cost

Urgent care facilities can provide the same level of quality medical care as an ER. Yet, emergency room costs are approximately 700% higher. Furthermore, when you visit an emergency room, you may see multiple bills from different departments. The cost difference is because hospitals have a much higher overhead than urgent care centers like Bayside.

Here are some cost comparisons from Medica health insurance comparing the difference in cost for treating specific conditions in the urgent care versus an emergency room:

  • Acute Bronchitis: $268 urgent care vs. $1,367 ER care
  • Allergies: $352 urgent care vs. $1,021 ER care
  • Earache: $245 urgent care vs. $1,000 ER care
  • Pink Eye: $200 urgent care vs. $621 ER care
  • Strep Throat: $310 urgent care vs. $1,301 ER care
  • Urinary Tract Infection: $259 urgent care vs. $1,592 ER care

Besides saving money on treatment, your insurance co-pay may also be lower when choosing urgent care vs. ER visits.

When to Go to the ER

ERs play a vital role in our health care system and the professionals who staff them are heroes.  In cases of true life-threatening medical emergencies you should call 911 or go to the emergency room.  Some instances when you should go to the ER:

  • Chest pain
  • Severe head injuries
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Large open wounds
  • Warning signs of a stroke: sudden dizziness or change in vision, sudden weakness or numbness, trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Major burns
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need help? get in touch

Walk In Clinic – No Appointments Needed
Monday – Friday: 8AM – 8PM
Saturday – Sunday: 9AM – 6PM

Call Now

quick response via text