Urgent Care vs. ER Questions and Answers

Columbia Clinic Urgent Care has 5 locations to offer a faster and cheaper alternative to the emergency room for minor injuries. If you are suffering from an injury or illness that requires treatment within 24 hours but is non life threatening you should consider choosing Urgent Care over The Emergency Room. For more information, please call us or book an appointment online. We serve patients from Portland OR, Happy Valley OR, Tigard OR, Milwaukie OR, Cedar Mill OR, Lake Oswego OR, Oak Grove OR, Fairview OR and Oregon City OR.

Urgent Care vs. ER Questions and Answers

When you have a medical concern that requires quick attention and cannot be addressed by your primary care physician you often have two major options to choose from. The first one is to go to the emergency room where the less life threatening the concern, the longer it will take for you to see a doctor. Sometimes you can end up waiting for hours after speaking to a triage nurse just to get admitted and even longer before you receive treatment and get on your way. The second option is going to an Urgent Care Clinic for non-life-threatening concerns that still need to be dealt with quickly. Should you be in Oregon, Columbia Clinic Urgent Care has five locations to serve you so you can get in and out with your concerns dealt with in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Should I go to an Urgent Care Clinic or the Hospital Emergency Room?

Urgent Care is the ideal choice for conditions that require attention but aren’t serious or life threatening. As Emergency Rooms prioritize based on severity you my frequently find yourself being pushed further and further down the line for treatment whereas the treatment at an urgent care is closer to a first come first serve basis. Most patients find that at an urgent care they often see a doctor and receive care much quicker than they would at the emergency room as the average wait time in the ER is 2.4 hours and the average wait time in most urgent care centers is 15 to 45 minutes before you see a doctor.

However, if a condition is life threatening you shouldn’t beat around the bush and should immediately go to the ER or call 911. As well if the condition requires immediate treatment, Emergency Rooms are open 24/7 whereas Urgent Care Clinics, while often keeping longer hours than primary care physicians, are not open late into the evening or in the early morning.

Does urgent care cost the same as the Emergency Room?

Urgent Care is often a cheaper and more convenient option than going to the Emergency Room. Most Urgent Care Centers cost patients between $70 and $120 per visit for basic care, though additional costs will be incurred from shots, tests, and x-rays. An Emergency Room visit can run around $1300, more more if an ambulance ride or hospital stay is required.

Now it is important to note that depending on the injury you may end up at the Hospital anyway, even if you go to urgent care first, so if you think your injury may be serious or life threatening, call 911 or go to the ER.

What types of injuries should you go to urgent care for?

Compared to a Hospital Emergency Room, Urgent Care Clinics are limited in the scope of treatment and care that they can provide. Most Urgent Care Clinics are well equipped to handle minor physical injuries such as lacerations with low blood loss that may require stitches, burns, stings, bug bites, allergic reactions and rashes, and internal conditions such as colds, strep throat or urinary tract infections. Some may even be equipped to handle minor fractures.

At Columbia Clinic Urgent Care we are equipped to deal with all of the above as well as some more uncommon conditions. We are ready and able to deal with fractures, kidney stones, corneal abrasions, hypertension, reflux, shingles and STIs among many other non-life-threatening injuries that require immediate treatment.

Columbia Clinic Urgent Care has 5 locations ready to serve you in the Portland, Happy Valley and Tigard areas of Oregon. We keep extended hours for your convenience and can book appointments or deal with walk in clients at all our locations. Please give us a call or check out more information on the site if you require urgent care.

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