Urgent care facilities have become more common across the United States. These small, “Doc in a Box” outlets have doctors, nurse practitioners and other medical staff on hand at all times. They also usually have a small array of equipment that can help treat medical needs.
The rise of urgent care facilities has made it possible for people to have a faster, less expensive option than going to the emergency room if they have a medical issue during hours when their primary physician’s office is closed or unavailable.
Urgent care facilities can be an excellent alternative, but don’t have the same complex equipment and skill set that emergency rooms possess. With both options available, it can be confusing to decide whether you should go to an emergency room or an urgent care facility. We’ll go through the advantages and disadvantages of each, and discuss what symptoms you should automatically go to the emergency room for.