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Urgent Care vs. ER

Urgent Care vs. ER

Dec 4, 2014

There’s never a convenient time for injury or illness to enter your life, but it’s especially unfavorable when your primary care physician (PCP) is not available. Even if your PCP is gone for the day or has a lengthy waitlist to get an appointment, there are still resources available for you to access quality care with no appointment necessary. 

Inspira offers emergency room locations and urgent care centers in New Jersey for patients looking for exceptional care close to home. But it’s important to understand the difference between an ER and urgent care center so you can visit the location most appropriate for your “after hours” injury or illness. 

When You Need an Inspira ER

ERs are open 24/7 for a broad range of specialized care. It is important to recognize when you are experiencing a severe medical condition or life-threatening situation that urgent care may not be equipped to handle. Patients at an ER are seen in priority order based on the type and severity of their medical complaint. Those with medical emergencies, such as heart attack, stroke or traumatic injuries, are always seen immediately. The following illnesses and injuries are most appropriately treated in an ER setting:

  • Complicated fractures
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Life- or limb-threatening injuries
  • Loss of consciousness, hearing or vision
  • Poisoning 
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Signs of heart attack or stroke
  • Suicidal or homicidal feelings 

Please note: The Inspira Emergency Department does not provide COVID testing. Get the latest testing information here. 

This is not a comprehensive list of injuries or illnesses an ER will treat. Any time you are experiencing what you believe to be a life-threatening situation, go to the ER or call 9-1-1.

When to Choose Inspira Urgent Care

Urgent care centers are equipped to treat a wide range of minor or non-life-threatening conditions and tend to have shorter wait times and significantly lower treatment costs than an ER. Inspira’s urgent cares also offer opportunities for follow-up appointments not available with ER care. Plus, a variety of the most commonly prescribed medications are available on-site for patient convenience. Inspira’s urgent care centers are open every day, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Common conditions best-suited for urgent care include, but are not limited to:

  • COVID testing
  • Coughs, colds and flu
  • Allergies
  • Bladder and urinary symptoms
  • Ear and eye problems
  • Minor cuts and lacerations
  • Skin rashes, bruises and bites
  • Sprains and strains
  • Strep and sore throat
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Mild/routine asthma attacks (serve and pediatric asthma attacks may be better treated in Inspira’s ER)

Inspira’s urgent care centers also offer X-ray services, year-round physicals to satisfy school and sports requirements and flu shots. Download the MyInspira App to get in line before you arrive and find your nearest Inspira Urgent Care location. 

Topics: Health and Wellness