When a medical emergency strikes, you need the highest quality of care fast. In a moment of crisis, it may be hard to decide when to go to the ER versus an urgent care center. Understanding the difference between the two and what services they provide can make all the difference during a medical emergency.

Urgent care locations or walk-in clinics typically treat the average flu or sprain, making them ideal for medical treatment when your primary care doctor’s office is closed. While urgent care centers are great for quickly diagnosing and treating a variety of medical conditions, they are not equipped to handle more serious maladies or injuries.

For medical emergencies ALWAYS call 9-1-1.

Conditions treated at urgent care

Some common conditions treated at urgent care clinics include:

  • The flu
  • Sprains
  • Strep throat
  • Rashes
  • Allergies
  • Minor burns
  • Splinter removal

Some urgent care locations may even turn away patients and refer them to the closest hospital if they are experiencing a more serious condition like heart palpitations or excessive bleeding. This is done so patient can receive the most advanced treatment options from an experienced team of caregivers.

When normal or advanced urgent care does not offer the healthcare services you need, heading to the nearest ER is your safest choice. The attention of an experienced team of board-certified doctors and ER nurses you can only find at your nearest emergency room is a priceless resource for any medical crisis. Being treated by expert physicians may be the difference in getting an accurate diagnosis in time to save a life or relieve painful symptoms. When you’re in doubt about your or a loved one’s condition, it’s always better to be safe and go to the closest emergency room.

What conditions are best treated at ER

These are just a few of the conditions that warrant a visit to your nearest ER:

  • Concussions and head injuries
  • Chest pain or heart palpitations
  • Signs of a stroke
  • Fainting
  • Broken bones
  • Deep cuts that won’t stop bleeding
  • Serious burns
  • Sudden and severe back pain
  • Animal bite

Why choose North Suburban Medical Center

At North Suburban Medical Center, we provide the Thornton and Westminster communities with a trio of convenient ER locations for all forms of medical emergencies. Our ER nurses and doctors have the experience to give you the urgent care you need, when you need it most.