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Urgent Care vs. Emergency Room vs. Virtual Care

Know Where to Go for the Right Kind of Care

Many serious health concerns that may seem like emergency room problems can be just as easily treated at an urgent care center, and at a much lower cost. Knowing the difference between a medical emergency and something that needs quick treatment in an urgent care center is important for both your finances, time, and keeping emergency room staff free to perform life-saving procedures.

Below, we go over some of reasons you might need to visit the emergency room, urgent care center, or contact a virtual care provider.

When to Visit the Emergency Room

The emergency room is designated for life-threatening emergencies that, if not treated immediately, could result in death.

Reasons to visit the emergency room can include, but are not limited to:

  • Severe chest pain or pressure
  • Uncontrolled, severe bleeding
  • Sudden or severe pain
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy
  • Dizziness or blindness
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Slurred speech or confused mental state

When to Visit an Urgent Care Center

For minor emergencies, or non-urgent concerns, urgent care can usually provide the care you need. Urgent care clinics can handle non-life threatening medical issues and also costs significantly less than emergency room care.

It may be appropriate to visit an urgent care center if you or someone else is experiencing:

  • Animal bites that are not toxic or severe
  • Sprains, strains, or other minor injuries
  • Bladder infections
  • Cold and flu
  • Coughing
  • Sinus problems
  • Sore throats
  • Minor fevers
  • Ear infections
  • Rashes

When to Utilize Virtual Care

In the age of the smartphone, it’s easier than ever to have access to professional medical advice. Virtual care can let you instantly connect with a medical professional through video chat. This is helpful for getting instant medical advice for minor health conditions that do not require prescription medication or a physical examination.

Virtual care may be appropriate for health concerns such as:

  • Minor cough, throat soreness, or sinus issues
  • Respiratory issues that do not severely inhibit breathing
  • Headache
  • Emotional health concerns
  • Influenza
  • Diarrhea
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Quitting smoking
  • Losing weight

Contact Jupiter Medical Urgent Care Center if you are still not sure whether or not an urgent care center is right for your situation. We have locations in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Stuart and Jupiter.