If you or your child is sick, there are several treatment options available, including the emergency room, your primary doctor's office, or urgent care. Knowing which choice is the right one for your symptoms and situation can be difficult, especially if you've never sought treatment at an urgent care facility before.

Here are a few reasons why you should choose an urgent care facility.

Your Condition Isn't an Emergency

Emergency rooms are busy places and patients are seen according to the severity of their condition. For example, if you visit the emergency room with flu-like symptoms, you will wait in line while people who were injured in automobile accidents or broke a bone see the doctor. If your condition isn't life threatening, visiting the urgent care is always the better option.

Here are a few conditions that warrant a visit to urgent care, rather than a trip the emergency room:

  • Sore throat
  • Sprains
  • Minor cuts
  • Vomiting
  • Fever with no rash
  • Dehydration

For more serious symptoms, including seizures, an infant with a high fever, chest pains, and trouble breathing, visit the emergency room instead.

Your Doctor's Office Is Closed

Your child has been experiencing flu-like symptoms, a moderate fever, or vomiting and diarrhea that isn't getting better. A primary care physician is a good resource in these non-emergent situations. However, what to do you do if your doctor's office is closed? Your primary care physician won't always be available, which is why if the situation isn't life threatening, your best option is the visit urgent care.

In most cases, the wait is far shorter in an urgent care and your child will receive the appropriate level of care. Urgent cares are staffed with physicians and nurses who are trained to quickly and expertly treat non-emergent symptoms and injuries. This means your child will not wait as long to receive treatment and you will all be headed home much faster.

Visiting the Emergency Room Is Expensive

Finally, emergency rooms feature highly-trained, state of the art facilities that are intended to treat patients suffering from life threatening symptoms. If you walk into the emergency room with a cough and runny nose, not only will you wait longer, in most cases you will wind up paying far more than if you had visited an urgent care facility.

Urgent care clinics also feature high-trained staff, but you won't pay nearly as much to be treated.

If you or your child is sick, it's important to understand when visiting urgent care facility services is the best option for you.