News & Media

Choosing between Urgent Care and the Emergency Room

Media Contact Joe Poelker
Release Date: 09/01/2016 By Paul Hansen, M.D.
St. Anthony's Medical Director of Urgent Cares
Arnold Urgent Care

It happens to all of us at some point: an illness or an injury that you’re not equipped to handle at home. You may ask: do we need to go to the emergency room or can we go to an urgent care?
For more serious conditions, go straight to the emergency room. Think of conditions like chest pains, abdominal pain, severe weakness on one side of your body, severe shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, bleeding that won’t stop, and violent or severe injuries.
Urgent cares are a great option for minor injuries such as sprains, simple fractures without breaks in the skin, cuts requiring stitches or other closure, rashes, minor burns, cold and flu symptoms, and animal or insect bites. While you can seek treatment for these conditions at an emergency room, it’s going to cost you more money and take up more of your time as you wait for the doctors and nurses to treat the more serious conditions first.
Urgent cares are good alternatives when something happens and you cannot wait a couple days for your doctor’s office to see you. They also provide other conveniences without an appointment, such as sports, work and school physicals, lab testing and X-rays.
St. Anthony’s urgent cares are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. We also offer online check-in on our website.
Remember, making the right choice to seek the appropriate level of care helps improve the care that is provided to everyone.