The Difference Between Urgent Care And The Emergency Room

Perhaps you’ve been in this situation before: After dinner, you are washing dishes and accidentally cut your finger while cleaning a glass. You are not in excruciating pain, but the cup is deep, and there is a great deal of blood. What do you do? Do you head to the emergency room or go to urgent care?

This decision is a dilemma that many people face every day. During a time of panic, it can be difficult to know which one is best for your specific situation. While the emergency room and urgent care offer a few of the same services, the money and time spent at each are very different. 

Along with our primary care service, our team here at South Coast Medical Group offers immediate assistance through Urgent Care. Our team is highly qualified and trained to be on the front lines of any urgent need. We provide the community of Aliso Viejo and surrounding cities with immediate attention and quality treatment for a wide range of conditions. 

It’s important to know when it’s time to go to the emergency room or urgent care during an important health situation. 

Discover the difference between going to the emergency room and urgent care:

Emergency Room

The biggest difference between urgent care and emergency rooms is the severity of the problem. If your condition is life-threatening, it is necessary to make your way to the emergency room. 

Many emergency care visits include: 

  • Severe chest pain
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Paralysis
  • Intestinal bleeding
  • High fevers or rash, especially among children
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Poisoning
  • Severe head or eye injuries
  • Allergic reactions
  • Unconsciousness

Urgent Care

If you have a minor condition that is not an emergency, going to urgent care could be the best choice for time and cost. 

Typical reasons to visit urgent care include:

  • Fevers, flu, or cold symptoms
  • Ear infections
  • Animal or insect bites
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Bronchitis
  • Sprains and broken bones
  • Cuts and bleeding that may require stitches
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Breathing discomfort, such as moderate asthma
  • Urinary tract infections
  • X-rays and lab tests
  • Abdominal pain
  • Minor back pain

When deciding whether to go to the emergency room or urgent care, ask yourself: what is the severity of my current health need?

If you are in need of medical assistance and it is not an emergency, our team is here for you. Our Urgent Care is open every day. Feel free to come in with no appointment needed. 

Urgent Care hours:

Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.