Conditions Treated at Urgent Care vs. a Hospital Emergency Room
- Abdominal pain
- Animal or insect bites
- Back pain if it’s mild to moderate
- Breathing difficulty, including mild to moderate asthma
- Broken bones or sprains
- Cuts that may require stitches
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Ear infection
- Fever or flu
- Urinary tract infection
- Intestinal bleeding
- Patient is unconscious
- Rash or high fever, especially if the patient is a child
- Recurring vomiting
- Severe abdominal pain
- Severe allergic reactions
- Severe chest pain
- Severe eye injury
- Severe head injury
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
- Sudden paralysis
- Bleeding during pregnancy
1. Your Arrival
Check in at the registration desk. Patients are seen according to the severity of their illness or injury – not necessarily in the order they arrived. Patients with less serious injuries may have to wait while more seriously ill or injured patients are treated – even if they arrived at the emergency room at the same time. We will ask you to provide insurance information to us before you leave the hospital. We file insurance claims and handle all the paperwork.
A highly-trained nurse will determine the seriousness of your illness or injury. The nurse will take your pulse, blood pressure and temperature, and get a brief medical history. If your condition requires you to lie down, then you will be escorted to a treatment room from the triage area. To protect patient privacy and allow room for staff to work, only two visitors are allowed at a time. If the patient is a child, then both parents/guardians may be present. If a treatment room is not available, you will be asked to sit in the waiting room until one can be prepared for you. Please do not eat or drink anything as this may interfere with tests the doctor may EXAMINATION need to evaluate you.
When you are brought back to an exam room, you will be placed in a bed. You may be asked to undress and put on a hospital gown (which ties in the back) so the doctor may examine you. You may also be attached to a monitoring device so that our nurses can monitor your vital signs. Your nurse and doctor will visit you while you are being monitored.
The doctor will order any tests or X-rays he/she feels are necessary. A staff member will take you to that area if you must leave the ER. Obtaining the results of the test may take as long as 90 minutes or more after your visit. Once the results from your tests are received, the doctor will explain them to you.
Your treatment may take a few minutes or several hours, depending on your illness or injury. The doctor will decide when you can be discharged from the ER or if you need to be admitted into observation or as an inpatient into the hospital.
6. Hospital Admission
If you are admitted to the hospital, you will be taken to your room as soon as all the arrangements have been made. You may have to wait in the ER if a room is not immediately available to be admitted to the hospital.
If you are discharged, the nurse will provide you with a copy of your discharge instructions and any prescriptions the doctor may have written for you. Please keep your discharge instructions because you are responsible for your own care after you leave the ER.