When you need care quick, your first thought might be to visit the emergency room (ER). But if the situation isn’t an emergency (that is, not life-threatening), you’re better off visiting an urgent care center instead.
Urgent care is especially helpful when:
- You’re experiencing an urgent injury like a fracture or a sprain, and your PCP is not available to see you
- You are not experiencing a potentially life-threatening condition: if you’re experiencing chest pain, trouble breathing, intense bleeding or other symptoms that you think may put your life at risk you should go to the emergency room
- You want to save time – wait times for urgent care are often shorter than the ER