Urgent Care vs. Emergency Room
What is an Emergency?
When an illness or injury occurs, it is not always easy to tell when you need to go to an Urgent Care Center or to the Emergency Department. Unfortunately, many patients who visit emergency rooms do not have a true emergency that requires immediate medical attention. Because of this, these patients often have to wait for many hours because they must be seen after other patients who have life-threatening illnesses or injuries.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, call 911 immediately:
Experiencing pressure or pain in the chest that lasts more than a few minutes
Loss of consciousness
Severe shortness of breath
Weakness or numbness on one side of the body
Confusion or slurred speech
In addition, if you feel that your illness, pain, or injury needs immediate attention, we encourage you to seek treatment at the emergency room.
If your need is not immediate, it may be faster for you to visit an urgent care facility or your primary care physician. These needs include:
Colds and other minor illnesses
Minor burns or cuts
Sprains and simple fractures
If you need help in finding a primary care physician, our Urgent Care staff can help find a physician accepting patients in your area. The Sacred Heart Physician Referral Line is also available at (850) 416-1600 for more information.