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When Should I Go To Urgent Care?


***Call 911 immediately if someone is unconscious, having trouble breathing, has suffered a serious injury, or may be having a heart attack.

We have all been there. You are on the lawn mower cutting the grass and you accidentally step on shallow hole in the ground and twist your ankle. Or your child has a case of the stomach flu and fever on a Saturday night at 7pm. Either way both situations require urgent care that has to be seen by a medical professional during after hours or weekends.  Your primary care physician isn’t available or very busy so you are left with limited options on getting seen and treated. The symptoms don’t appear to be life threatening (i.e. stroke, chest pains, severe and sudden pain) but urgently requires medical staff to attend to it. This where urgent care steps in and takes care of patient.

ER vs. Urgent Care

Lets start the comparisons by look at emergency departments. These departments usually are equipped to handle serious to life threatening pains, cuts, burns, compound fractures, heart attacks, bleeding, and suicide attempts. ERs offer such things as impatient care, emergency, and trauma services. It also prioritize based on severity of illness and many patients with less severe cases might have to wait hours to be seen. Their is usually a higher cost associated to emergency care due to the use of specialized resources and staff. Another contributing factor to a higher cost of care is high volume of patients being seen and the limitation of resources and staff to meet that high volume. These factors contribute to higher cost and long wait times.

Urgent care on the other hand deals with treating many of the same illness and health issues as primary care physicians but also in addition, urgent care centers can treat lacerations, minor trauma, sport medicine, and workers compensation injuries. These facilities tend to focus primarily on minor emergencies and urgent needs, so the expenditure to the patient is usually a fraction of the cost of an emergency department and the wait times tend to be much less. Urgent care centers also free up Emergency centers to treat severe and emergency medical needs and cuts down on ER wait time.

What We Treat At West Oaks Urgent Care Center

Still wondering what urgent care centers specifically treat? Here is a list of some of the common medical needs West Oaks Urgent Care Center covers:

  • Minor burns or injuries
  • Sprains and strains
  • Cough, cold, and sore throats
  • Allergic reactions (non life-threatening)
  • Fever or Flu-like symptoms
  • Rash or other skin irritations
  • Dehydration
  • Animal bites
  • Broken bones
  • Strep throat
  • Minor injuries from a car accident
  • Stomach flu or virus
  • Pink Eye
  • Vomiting
  • Falls
  • Ear related issues and injuries
  • Mild asthma
  • Animal bites

Services We Provide

Our clinic is unique in the fact that we provide many of the services other urgent centers do not because we are staffed with certified ER physicians and nurses. Here are is a list of some common services we offer:

  • X-ray
  • EKG
  • Sports-related injuries and treatment
  • Sports physicals
  • Workers Compensation injury treatment
  • Stitches
  • TB Skin Test
  • Flu and tetanus shots

Want to learn more about West Oaks Urgent Care Center or unsure about what we treat? Give us a call and we will gladly assist you at (281)-496-4948 or visit our website: http://www.westoaksclinic.com/

This blog is not intended as a tool to diagnose injuries or illnesses. When in doubt, call 911.

Work Cited

“Emergency Care vs Urgent Care.” FH: Consumer Cost Lookup. FAIR Healthcare. Web. 1 Jun 2013. <http://www.fairhealthconsumer.org/reimbursementseries/urgentemergency.aspx>

Fields, Sharron. “When Should You Visit Urgent Care?.” Metro Family- Central Oklahoma’s Parenting Connection. 02 Jan 2012: n. page. Web. 1 Jun. 2013. <http://www.metrofamilymagazine.com/January-2012/When-Should-You-Visit-Urgent-Care/>.

Kanable, Ryan. “Should I go to urgent care or the ER?.” Your Health Matters, 23 Apr 2013. Web. 1 Jun. 2013. <http://blog.wpsic.com/bid/239589/Should-I-go-to-urgent-care-or-the-ER>.

” Should I go to urgent care or the emergency room?.” UC Health News. N.p.. Web. 1 Jun 2013. <http://pvhs.org/body.cfm?id=2152>.


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