Emergency Department vs. Urgent Care

Primary Care

When to use: You have symptoms of a regular illness or need a regular check-up

  • General Medical Advice
  • Annual Well exams
  • Immunizations
  • Treatment of illness:
    • Colds and coughs
    • Sore throat
    • Flu and flu-like symptoms
    • Ear infections
    • Urinary tract infections
    • Minor aches and pains
    • Allergies
  • Manage Chronic conditions
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Respiratory Problems

An office where you go for wellness check-ups or when you are ill.

Immediate Care

When to use: If you have a minor illness or injury AND your primary care provider is not available AND your problem cannot wait

  • Treatment of illness:
    • Colds and coughs
    • Sore throat
    • Flu and flu-like symptoms
    • Ear infections/Earache
    • Suspected urinary tract infections or upper respiratory infections
    • Upset stomach
    • Skin rashes and infections
    • Minor broken bones
    • Musculoskeletal injuries
    • Back Pain
    • Toothache (when dentist is not available)
    • Allergies
    • Animal/Insect Bite
    • Eye irritation and redness
    • Minor cut/abrasion
    • Minor burn
    • Fever (if having seizures, go to the Emergency Room)
    • Sexually Transmitted Illness
    • Frequent, bloody or painful urination
    • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sports/DOT Physicals
  • Travel Vaccines

Emergency Care

When to use: If you have a serious or a life-threatening illness of injury

  • Chest pain or other heart attacks symptoms
    • Pressure, fullness, squeezing/pain in the center of your chest, tightness/burning/aching under the breastbone, chest pain with lightheadedness
  • Signs of a stroke
    • Sudden weakness, numbness of the face/arm/leg on one side of the body; sudden dimness or loss of vision; loss of speech or trouble talking; sudden severe headaches with no cause
  • Head injury or eye injury
  • Sudden and severe headache or loss of vision
  • Heavy bleeding that won’t stop
  • Dislocated joints
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Deep cuts or severe burns
  • High fever
  • Severe asthma attack
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe or worsening reaction to an insect bite, sting or medications
  • Constant, severe/persistent vomiting
  • Coughing up or vomiting blood
  • Poisoning (Call Poison Control 1-800-222-1222 and ask for immediate home treatment advice)
  • Domestic violence or rape
  • Feelings of suicide