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Deciding Where to Go for Immediate Care

Urgent or emergency care? What’s the best choice when you need medical attention and your doctor’s office is closed? Understanding your options may spare you anxiety.

Urgent and emergency care: they sound, well, the same. But when you or a family member is sick, knowing the difference between emergency and urgent care can save you time and alleviate anxiety.

Emergency departments are designed for people with life-threatening conditions—like heart attacks, strokes, severe burns, blunt force trauma and serious allergic reactions. The hospital setting provides immediate access to specialized medical personnel, operating rooms, a blood bank, ventilators and countless medications.

But sometimes that level of care is not needed. Earaches, nosebleeds, sprains and strains can be treated by the knowledgeable and caring medical professionals at Meritus Health’s Urgent Care. Board-certified physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants provide comprehensive care during extended hours, 7 am to 10 pm, seven days a week, with no appointment necessary.

Urgent care is a great place to go for a persistent sore throat, the flu or a skin rash—especially when your doctor can’t see you right away or your condition worsens during the evening hours or weekend. And with scheduled appointments from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can pick a time that’s convenient for you.

Medical emergencies require the resources and services only a hospital can provide, but when you are everyday-sick or have a minor injury, Urgent Care can get you on the road to recovery.

Still unsure of where to go for immediate medical care? Check out our handy reference chart.

Medical Condition

Urgent Care

Emergency Department

Coughing and sore throat


Seizures and convulsions


Drug overdose


Upper respiratory tract infection


Loss of consciousness


Small bone fractures (toe or finger)


Abdominal pain during pregnancy


Difficulty breathing


Vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach aches


Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg


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