If you or a family member are sick or injured, which health care facility should you choose: an urgent care center in King, NC, or the closest hospital ER? Let’s look at the differences between these facilities, so you can make the right choice in your time of need.
Urgent Care Centers
Your child has a persistent low-grade fever and a sore throat. Your pediatrician’s office is closed, but you don’t want this to wait until the morning. In such a situation, an urgent care center is the most appropriate medical office to visit.
Urgent care centers are open for extended hours and on the weekends. Most are open on major holidays, as well. Urgent care centers are an extension to primary care, as they offer the same services as primary care offices, but with extended availability. They even have services that go beyond primary care. When it comes to any health problem that isn’t life-threatening, an urgent care center is the place to go.
Here’s what your walk-in urgent care center in King, NC, offers to patients of all ages:
- Prompt care for medical issues that are pressing but not life-threatening
- Evening and weekend hours
- Quick check-ins and short wait times
- Assessment and care by a fully qualified provider
- On-site testing (blood work, strep testing, urinalysis, X-rays, and more)
- Diagnosis and treatment plan (to include prescription medications, suturing, breathing treatments, bandaging, and more)
- Vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine
- Occupational medicine services, including workers’ comp and drug testing
- Routine physicals for school, sports, and more
The conditions treated at urgent care centers include:
- Pink eye
- Ear infections
- Sore throats
- Upper and lower respiratory tract infections
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and other GI conditions
- Skin rashes
- Insect bites
- Cuts, bruising, and burns
- Fractures, strains, and sprains
Going To a Hospital ER
A hospital emergency room provides both urgent and emergency medical care. Because it is located in a full-service hospital or medical center, the ER promptly handles life-threatening medical needs, such as heart attack and stroke, and the most pressing of injuries, such as amputations and crush injuries.
Besides board-certified physicians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, hospital ERs provide ready access to a wide range of specialists, such as cardiologists, neurologists, and orthopedic surgeons. Plus, the highest level of imaging and diagnostic lab services are housed within the hospital campus.
Hospital ERs, however, are well-known for long wait times if your medical need is not life-threatening. The sickest patients are seen and treated first, and so, you may be required to wait for an extended period to get medical attention. Unless you have a life-threatening emergency, you will not be a priority in an ER.
Additionally, ER costs can be astonishingly high, even with the best medical insurance. So, if your pediatrician is unavailable and you decide to take your child to the hospital, expect a high cost.
Conditions that hospital emergency rooms typically treat are:
- Car accident injuries
- Heart attack
- Severe burns and lacerations
- Head injuries
- Loss of consciousness
- Drug interactions and overdoses
- Severe asthma attacks and allergic reactions
When the severest of health problems strike, call 911 or get to the closest hospital emergency room. However, if your injury or health problem is not life-threatening, visit an urgent care instead, where you can get quality care at the drop of a dime.
Cardinal Urgent Care In King, North Carolina
Cardinal Urgent Care’s state-of-the-art facility is ready to serve your health care needs seven days a week. Our board-certified physician is Dr. Samir Patel, who is board-certified in emergency medicine. We are open Monday through Friday, 8 am to 8 pm, as well as Saturday and Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm.