How do you know when to go to an urgent care clinic; rather than the emergency room? In their YouTube video, “When to Go to the Emergency Room; versus Urgent Care, versus a Walk-In Clinic,” Scripps Health showed an interview between two of their doctors. Dr. Shawn Evans and Sue Ming Geary talked about how to choose where to go, when you need care.
The doctors reviewed each of the levels of care and gave basic instructions for when it would be appropriate for each.
Dr. Shawn feels the emergency room should be reserved for when your life may be in danger. He said to choose the emergency room if you’re bleeding while pregnant; or believe you’re having a stroke or heart attack.
Dr. Sue says urgent care is for conditions that are serious, but not life-threatening. She suggested people with burns, severe sprains, or chronic coughs use urgent care facilities. She says it is also appropriate for diarrhea or for dehydration in children.
Both doctors agreed walk-in clinics are convenient and appropriate for minor issues like coughs, urine infections, sprains, or skin rash. Dr. Shawn emphasized that if you believe your symptoms are severe enough to call 911, you should do so. His philosophy is, “Better safe than sorry.”