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Urgent Care vs ER Questions and Answers

AFC Urgent Care Santee, CA offers quality affordable and convenient urgent care when you need it. Walk-In today to experience the care you deserve for your urgent care needs. We are located at 10538 Mission Gorge Road Suite 100 Santee, CA 92071.

Urgent Care Near Me in Santee, CA

Both urgent care clinics and emergency rooms accept walk-in appointments and typically have more open hours than primary care clinics. With that being said, they serve different purposes, as urgent care clinics serve individuals who require urgent medical attention that cannot wait for the next available appointment slot at their primary care clinic, while emergency rooms also serve individuals dealing with life-threatening medical emergencies.

Is Urgent Care faster than ER?

Most of the time, urgent care clinics are a faster option than emergency rooms for individuals dealing with medical concerns that are not life-threatening. Unlike emergency rooms, urgent care clinics do not see patients who are dealing with life-threatening medical emergencies. However, this enables them to see patients on a first-come, first-served basis with more regularity than emergency rooms, significantly reducing the amount of time patients with non-life-threatening medical concerns spend in the waiting room. With that being said, urgent care clinics still conduct patient evaluations for every patient upon their arrival at the clinic to determine if they should receive medical attention immediately or can safely wait in the order of their arrival.

What is the difference between urgent care and emergency care?

While there are many similarities between urgent care clinics and emergency care departments, the main difference between the two medical facilities concerns the level of care that each medical facility can provide. As such, while emergency rooms exist primarily to provide emergency medical care 24 hours a day and seven days a week to individuals dealing with life-threatening emergencies, urgent care clinics are not sufficiently equipped to provide such medical care. Furthermore, while urgent care clinics often have extended open hours, including on weekends, they are not typically open around the clock.

Is it better to go to urgent care or ER?

Both urgent care clinics and emergency rooms provide essential medical services. However, there are times when one option is more convenient or essential than the other. With that in mind, it is essential that you visit an emergency room for any life-threatening medical emergency you experience rather than an urgent care clinic. On the other hand, it is usually much more convenient to visit an urgent care clinic for any medical concern that is not life-threatening. With that in mind, a simple way to decide whether you should go to the emergency room or an urgent care clinic is to determine if your medical concern is life-threatening or not.

To help you determine if your medical concern is potentially life-threatening, the following is a list of signs that you could be experiencing a life-threatening medical emergency:

  • Alcohol poisoning or drug overdose
  • Anaphylactic shock, which is a severe allergic reaction
  • Compound fractures, which is a fracture that occurs when the broken bone pierces through the skin
  • Coughing or vomiting up blood
  • Deep abrasions (avulsions), cuts, or lacerations with heavy or uncontrollable bleeding
  • Extreme or unbearable pain
  • Fainting, passing out, or loss of consciousness
  • Severe seizures
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea) or struggling to breathe
  • Significant chest pain or tightness
  • Sudden confusion, droopiness or weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, vision disturbances, or other signs of stroke
  • Third-degree burns or worse

What are some benefits of going to an urgent care instead of an ER?

There are many benefits to visiting an urgent care clinic instead of the emergency room for a medical concern that is not life-threatening. Not only will an urgent care clinic most likely save you time, but you will also save money by visiting an urgent care clinic instead of an emergency room. In general, emergency room services are significantly more expensive than those at an urgent care clinic. Moreover, urgent care doctors are fully trained and qualified to provide high-quality medical care to patients, so you do not need to worry that you are sacrificing quality for convenience with urgent care services.

For more information about urgent care clinics or an appointment with us at AFC Urgent Care, we welcome you to call us or visit our clinic at 10538 Mission Gorge Road, Suite 100, in Santee, CA, for a walk-in appointment. We serve patients from Santee CA, Carlton Hills CA, Sky Ranch CA, Riverwalk CA and Mission View Estates, CA.


10538 Mission Gorge Road Suite 100
Santee, CA 92071

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