As the video "Urgent Care vs. Emergency Care" explains, sometimes you may not be sure what to do with a minor emergency, such as a mild head injury, a sprained wrist or ankle, or the flu. In such scenarios, going to an urgent care clinic is always the best option. These clinics provide immediate medical care for those who need it without some of the typical wait time and over-treatment associated with emergency rooms.
They are also smaller than emergency rooms. The urgent care facilities have nurses who can answer patients' common questions before deciding whether an ER visit is necessary. Many people considering this option recognize that they're better off going to urgent care and find out that their injuries are non-life threatening.
However, there's some confusion about how these urgent care facilities compare to emergency rooms. Both urgent care clinics and emergency rooms will have doctors that can provide the same kind of treatments and medications needed on site.
Emergency rooms are typically used when a patient has a life-threatening injury or medical issue. Sometimes a patient may need immediate intervention or have experienced an accident severe enough to cause serious bodily harm. In this case, they will likely receive treatment in the ER instead of going to a clinic..