Medical problems can arise any time of the day–and of course, it seems as though they always hit the hardest outside of your regular doctor’s hours. While visiting an emergency room is an option, emergency room visits are expensive. Not only that, you can find yourself waiting for a very long time to get attention. Thankfully, there are urgent care clinics that will provide the emergency care you need instead of forcing you to head into the emergency room when your doctor’s office is closed. If you’re experiencing one of these six emergencies, head into a clinic instead of into the emergency room.

You’ve had a sudden onset of severe coughing that’s interfering with your ability to sleep.

It’s hard to keep breathing well enough to sleep, and you’re well aware that you need to visit a doctor now, rather than waiting for morning. Urgent care clinics are well equipped to prescribe the medications you’ll need to stop that cough and get a good night’s sleep.

You have a minor cut requiring stitches.

An urgent care clinic is well-equipped to stitch you up and have you ready to head out the door again in no time at all. Not only will it be less expensive, you’ll often be able to get out of an urgent care clinic in less time than you would be able to get out of the emergency room.

You have a fever or other symptoms that you’d normally take to your primary care physician.

Maybe you ignored the signs that you were getting sick all day, until your primary care doctor was closed. Perhaps you couldn’t get out of work in time to make it to your regular doctor, or they don’t have any regular appointments, or maybe you don’t have a primary care physician. Whatever the case, all of these situations are reasonable to take to urgent care.

You have painful urination symptoms that you’d like to have resolved fast!

When you experience symptoms of painful urination, you don’t want to wait around until the next morning for an appointment–but it’s not worth a trip to the emergency room, either. These symptoms can easily be handled at urgent care, where you can get a urine test, have a doctor write a prescription, and get back home.

You’ve struggled with persistent diarrhea or vomiting.

One trip to the bathroom for a stomach emergency isn’t enough to be worth running to urgent care, but if it’s continued all day and you aren’t able to get to your primary care doctor, urgent care is well equipped to deal with it.

You’ve had a minor sprain or break.

Urgent care centers have the equipment to deal with sprains, strains, and minor breaks. Compound fractures and more serious breaks, including injuries to the neck or back, should go straight to the emergency room, where you can receive surgery if needed.

An urgent care center is a great place to get immediate treatment when you need medical care that can’t wait until your primary care physician is open. There are, however, several times when you should use the emergency room instead.

  • Heart problems, including palpitations and chest pain, should immediately go to the emergency room.
  • Convulsions or seizures are worthy of an emergency room visit.
  • If you’ve lost consciousness, you need to visit the ER, not an urgent care facility.
  • Moderate to severe burns need to be seen by the emergency room.
  • An infant less than three months old who is running a fever should be seen by the ER.
  • Most urgent care facilities aren’t equipped to handle pregnancy-related problems, which should be taken to the ER.

Urgent care facilities offer plenty of benefits. If you’re in need of medical care after traditional office hours, visit your local urgent care facility to learn just how beneficial they can be.