Emergency rooms and urgent care clinics both meet crucial healthcare needs in their communities. Yet, there are distinct differences between emergency care and urgent care facilities. Since urgent care clinics are not equipped to handle serious or life-threatening medical emergencies, it’s important for patients to be able to identify medical emergencies that do require a trip to the emergency room at MountainView Hospital .
Differences Between the ER and Urgent Care
Some emergency care facilities are freestanding, but most are part of a larger hospital. Because of this, ERs have capabilities that urgent care clinics typically lack, such as comprehensive on-site imaging centers and laboratories. If a patient goes to an ER, he or she can be admitted directly to the hospital if need be. In contrast, a patient who goes to urgent care may later need to be transported to a hospital for monitoring and treatment. Another crucial difference is the staff. At an emergency care facility, there are emergency medicine physicians who have received extensive training in handling medical emergencies. At some urgent care facilities, patients are primarily treated by nursing professionals who may be supervised by a physician. And lastly, another significant difference between these two models of care is that emergency rooms are open 24/7, every day of the year. In contrast, urgent care facilities are typically closed at night and on major holidays.
Medical Emergencies That Require Emergency Care
Urgent care facilities can indeed handle many medical situations, such as mild to moderate respiratory infections and minor lacerations. However, only the ER of a hospital can quickly evaluate and intervene in life-threatening situations . These include stroke, heart attack, severe burns, seizures, and major trauma. Emergency care is recommended for patients who suffer from sudden confusion, sudden vision loss, respiratory difficulties, chest pain, and loss of consciousness, among others.
Since 1996, MountainView Hospital has been a leading provider of superior emergency care for Las Vegas families. Our emergency care team is dedicated to maintaining ER wait times that are at or below the national average. Please call 911 immediately if you have a medical emergency; otherwise, call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (702) 233-5300.