When to Go to Urgent Care vs ER in Greater Orlando, FL
Night Lite Pediatrics Has Urgent Care Clinics for Children in the Greater Orlando, Jacksonville, Melbourne, and Port St. Lucie Areas. Walk-ins Welcome. No Appointments Needed!
Let’s say you’re at home with the family one day when your child accidentally cuts his or her hand. It starts bleeding, but you find that you cannot control the bleeding, and now you’re wondering whether to go to the ER (emergency room) or your community urgent care center. What do you do? Let’s figure it out together and get to the bottom of when to go to urgent care over the ER.
What’s the difference between the ER and urgent care?
Urgent care clinics are popping up all throughout the US, and for good reason: they’re great places to go during non-emergency situations. This kind of situation is one that isn’t life-threatening, and it’s the only kind of situation urgent care is equipped to handle. The ER, however, is for situations that could be or are life-threatening. These are emergency situations.
Why should I go to urgent care? Is urgent care cheaper than the ER?
There are many reasons to go to urgent care. For one, urgent care clinics are also walk-in clinics, so they take on patients without appointments, and there are virtually no wait times. Also, urgent care clinics are open outside of standard business hours and over the weekend, so you can rely on them to be there for your family when you need them. For example, Night Lite Pediatrics is open late on weekdays and the weekend. You can go to urgent care during any non-emergency situation such as:
- Minor cuts (so long as the bleeding can be controlled)
- Physical exams (even annual physicals)
- Fever (only for fever in children older than 3 months—younger children must be taken to the ER)
- Minor fractures, strains, or sprains
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Asthma, allergies, and minor allergic reactions
- Common infections
- And others
You might be thinking that the ER is just the best place to go no matter what the situation is, but this isn’t so. This is because the ER has significant wait times for patients with non-emergency situations, but urgent care doesn’t, and the ER can be expensive for non-emergencies. Urgent care is generally cheaper than the ER for non-emergencies, and they accept most major insurances, so you can expect your visit to be covered. Remember, though, you cannot go to urgent care for emergency situations.
When should you not go to urgent care? Will urgent care send me to the ER?
Whenever a situation is or could be life-threatening, or if you’re unsure, then you must go to the ER, not urgent care. Urgent care is for non-emergencies only, so if you go there during an emergency situation, they won’t be able to provide the appropriate kind of service and they’ll send you to the ER. During an emergency situation, you should always call 911 and go to the ER.
How old do you have to be to go to an urgent care?
Another one of the great things about urgent care is that they accept patients of any age, including seniors and children. Here at Night Lite Pediatrics, we treat children and young adults of any age, but children must be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult.
What services are offered at urgent care?
Here at our clinic, we offer the following services for children of any age, including infants, as well as young adults:
- Stitches (remember, for minor cuts only!)
- Pediatric urgent care (which is urgent care for children)
- Pediatric chronic illness care (for young patients with chronic conditions like asthma)
- Lab testing (with our onsite laboratory)
- X-rays (we have an onsite X-ray machine too)
- Allergy treatment
- And more
If you believe your child would benefit from any of our services (and if you’re sure that your child’s health situation is minor), then come see us here at Night Lite Pediatrics! We can see your child for a walk-in appointment at any of our clinic locations in Greater Orlando, FL. We’re open for your child late and on weekends, so come see us whenever the situation is minor but urgent!