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How Are Urgent Care Visits Different from Emergency Room Visits?

Home / Urgent Care Services / How Are Urgent Care Visits Different from Emergency Room Visits?

November 17, 2022 | Category : Urgent Care Services | Author: Arleta Urgent Care

Urgent Care vs Emergency Room Visits

Choosing an appropriate healthcare facility can be confusing if you are unsure which kind of services it offers. The reason is that different healthcare centers offer different types of medical care. If you have an injury and end up chopping off your finger, which healthcare facility will serve you well? Should you go to urgent care, or an emergency room (ER) is more appropriate? Acute injuries are treatable in emergency rooms; however, you will need to wait to receive services, and the cost will be higher. Since chopping off your finger requires immediate attention and it’s not life-threatening, an urgent care clinic is more appropriate. 

Which healthcare facility should you seek healthcare services for when you have a medical emergency? Generally, Emergency rooms make ideal healthcare facilities if your medical or health situation is life-threatening. Numerous urgent care facilities have opened up across the country. However, not everyone understands the kind of services they offer. So, what differentiates an emergency room from an urgent care clinic? To understand the difference, keep reading this post.

When is it appropriate to visit an Urgent Care Clinic? 

If your emergency problem is not life-threatening or urgent, you will need to visit an urgent care clinic. An urgent care facility is also a good option for patients who require medical services after hours. Most primary care providers close their offices at around 5 pm. You can access proper healthcare services even in the wee hours of the day at Arleta urgent care because our facility is open from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm on weekdays and 9:00 am to 5:00 pm during weekends. 

A visit to Arleta Urgent Care Clinic allows you to receive medical services for these acute common medical conditions:

  • Minor headaches 
  • Foreign objects in the eyes or nose
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea                                 
  • Rashes and minor burns
  • Fever
  • Minor fractures
  • Ear or sinus pain     
  • Stitches
  • Vaccinations                                                             
  • Back pain
  • Cough or sore throat     
  • Lab services        
  • Blood work      
  • Mild asthma
  • Burning with urination    
  • Eye irritation, swelling, or pain                                    
  • Bumps, cuts, and scrapes                        
  • Allergies
  • Animal bites
  • X-rays                                   
  • Cold or flu symptoms     
  • Sprains

An emergency room or ER may also offer medical care services for these emergencies. The problem is that you will have to wait for long hours, and the medical bills are often higher. So, why is it ideal to know more about the difference between an emergency clinic and urgent care?

  • It takes less than 30 minutes to access health care services from an urgent care clinic. Once you walk into an Arleta Urgent Care clinic, you will know when you will receive medical attention since our facility has a handy time clock that tells the patient how long it will take to receive treatment or medical attention. Patients get this information once they walk into the clinic, and 90 percent of Urgent Care Clinics in Los Angeles offer quick-response medical care. 
  • 84 percent of patients who seek medical attention at urgent care clinics receive medical attention within an hour once they walk in. 
  • Patients can conveniently seek medical attention at an urgent care clinic without necessarily scheduling an appointment with a doctor. Although, scheduling an appointment helps to quicken services at our clinic. 
  • Medical services offered at Arleta Urgent Care Clinic cost way lower than what you would pay at an emergency room. You may have to pay more than $1,200 to get treatment at an emergency room. 
  • You can access medical care at various urgent care clinics because they are locally available at commercial plazas and shopping centers. 
  • Arleta Urgent Care Clinic accepts health insurance from numerous providers; therefore, you don’t have to incur high medical expenses. 

When to Go to an Emergency Room Visit

You need to strike a balance between urgency vs emergency when seeking medical care. Not all urgent or immediate healthcare situations are treatable at urgent care health care facilities. Some medical emergencies require health care or medical specialists. Emergency cases that may cause loss of life are supposed to be treated in emergency rooms. The type of life-threatening conditions that require emergency room visits include:

  • Breathing difficulties 
  • Severe chest pain 
  • Severe bleeding 
  • Head trauma 
  • Stroke 
  • Vision loss 

The difference between emergency rooms in a facility and urgent care lies in the severity of the medical condition. You may need to call 9-1-1 or visit an emergency room immediately if a patient experiences these symptoms. 

Few Differences Between Emergency Room Visits and Urgent Care Visits

The severity of health problems

Is urgent care the same as ER? An urgent care clinic is a middle ground between the Emergency Department and a primary care provider. An urgent care clinic is the ideal choice of medical facility when you have an acute medical condition that requires immediate attention. This medical facility is also a great option if the medical issue does not display other severe symptoms or when you don’t have any underlying medical conditions. One of the health concerns that are easily treatable at Arleta Urgent Care Clinic is an earache. An emergency room would be necessary, however, if the earache is accompanied by other symptoms, such as a high fever of about 104 F and above. Another health concern that may require a visit to an emergency room is if a patient is on immune-suppressing medication or has a history of cancer. 

Hours and staff

Like many hospitals and other health facilities, an urgent care clinic is well-staffed. There are enough medical professionals, including nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. In some urgent care clinics, physicians are also among the staff. Urgent care clinics can carry out diagnostic tests such as X-rays and basic lab tests to determine the causes of illnesses and treatment. The Urgent care clinic has a list of medical conditions treatable and established set hours. This makes the wait time shorter and also lowers the cost of getting medical attention compared to emergency rooms.


The level of treatment and the patient’s co-pay determine the average cost of health and medical care. However, the average cost of visiting an urgent care clinic is around $100 to $150. Treatment at an emergency room costs tremendously based on the level of treatment. The average cost you can incur in an emergency room ranges between $623 to $3,087. 

Cut Down on Wait Time

The time factor also applies in an urgent care clinic. Patients with acute injuries or medical conditions that are not life-threatening can save precious time by seeking medical attention from the Arleta Urgent Care clinic. Patients who visit urgent care centers receive medical attention on a first-come, first-served basis. Once you walk into an urgent care clinic will only take you less than 30 minutes to get medical attention. You may have to wait much longer for patients to receive medical attention in emergency rooms. Its wait time runs into hours. The severity of a medical condition will determine how long it will take to receive medical attention in emergency rooms. Medical professionals and staff in ERs prioritize life-threatening medical needs first. Once a patient arrives at an ER facility, it will take between 15 minutes to 2 hours to receive care based on the severity of the medical condition.  

Is it cheaper to go to an urgent care visit or the emergency room?

Visiting an urgent care clinic is much more convenient than seeking medical attention from an ER medical facility. Various variables determine the medical cost of an urgent care clinic, including lab work, other diagnostic tests, injections, and medications. Another aspect that determines how much you will pay at an urgent care clinic is whether a patient has insurance. You will get a brief explanation of your medical bill once you’ve received care at Arleta Urgent Care Clinic


High-quality health care is an essential aspect of any person. Your financial status should not hinder medical attention from any healthcare facility. Before going to any healthcare facility, you must understand the difference between an emergency room and urgent care clinic. Arleta Urgent Care Clinic offers convenient, high-quality, and affordable healthcare services to patients with medical attention that is not life-threatening. Patients who visit our healthcare facility get immediate attention, significantly if their medical condition worsens without urgent care. Emergency rooms often cater to patients with life-threatening medical conditions. However, if your medical condition is not severe, you may need to wait more than an hour to receive medical attention at the emergency room. So you need to opt wisely as per your medical needs and urgency.


Need Of Urgent Care?

Do you want to receive medical attention and treatment right away? You can start by visiting urgent care that offers a one-stop solution for you. Without any hardship, you will get proper treatment for various health conditions that you may be suffering from. Visit Arleta urgent care today for effective treatment and quick recovery.