What is the Difference Between Immediate and Urgent Care?

When it comes to medical care, it's important to know the difference between immediate and urgent care. Immediate care centers and urgent care centers both provide fast and efficient services to patients with conditions, illnesses, and injuries that don't require an emergency room visit. However, these two phrases are very different.

Immediate care

facilities are better equipped to treat minor conditions, such as earaches, that don't have any other symptoms or underlying health conditions.

These centers are same-day clinics that can treat a variety of medical problems that need to be treated right away, but are not considered true emergencies. Immediate care providers can request basic laboratory tests and imaging tests, such as x-rays, to help them provide diagnoses and develop treatment plans.

Urgent care

facilities are better equipped to treat serious conditions, although they are not appropriate for serious emergencies. Urgent care is the middle ground between your primary care provider and the Emergency Department.

If you have a minor illness or injury that you can't wait until tomorrow, urgent care is the best option. Urgent care centers are walk-in clinics that can help fill a vital void when you get sick or injured, but your regular doctor isn't available and you can't wait for an appointment to arrive. Receiving care in the emergency room can be quite expensive compared to visiting an immediate care center or an urgent care center. Before going to an urgent care center, you can contact your primary care doctor's office in case you can schedule a same-day appointment.

As a result, urgent care clinics tend to be less expensive and have shorter wait times than emergency departments. It's important to know when it's time to go to the emergency room or urgent care. Emergency rooms are designed to treat the most critical patients or patients who need medical treatment when urgent care or their primary care office is closed. If you have a serious illness or injury with no other symptoms, or if you have no other underlying health conditions, it's best to go to an urgent care center.

However, if it is accompanied by a high fever (104°F or higher), if you have a history of cancer, or are taking immunosuppressive medications, it is important to have you examined in the emergency department. Knowing the difference between a walk-in clinic, an urgent care center and a hospital emergency room can make a big difference, especially if you have a medical emergency. Try searching for an “emergency center near me” to find the nearest Express emergency room in your area.

Bridgette Onken
Bridgette Onken

Subtly charming food fan. Total tv enthusiast. Passionate food ninja. Hardcore travel junkie. Friendly burrito practitioner.