The emergency room in a hospital was designed to treat severe and life-threatening conditions.

But Many people use the ER as a place to receive Urgent Care without realizing it. If you have an injury or illness such as a sprained ankle or an ear infection, you may end up waiting for hours in the emergency room and paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for your care. In most situations, you can save time and money by going to an Urgent Care facility like South Strand Internists & Urgent Care instead of an emergency room. However, if you’re ever in doubt and cannot call ahead to ask, it’s better to be safe and go to the closest ER.

Urgent Care

When to go to an Urgent Care facility: Urgent Care centers like South Strand Internists & Urgent Care are same-day clinics that can handle a variety of conditions that need to be treated right away but are not considered an emergency or life threatening. No appointment is necessary and you do not need a referral to be seen. Some symptoms to prompt an Urgent Care visit include:

  • Fever with or without rash
  • Minor trauma such as a common sprain
  • Painful urination
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Severe sore throat
  • Vomiting

Specific conditions that can be treated at an Urgent Care office include:

  • Ear infections
  • Fever or flu-like symptoms
  • Allergic reactions
  • Minor burns or injuries
  • Sprained ankle
  • Laceration Repair
  • Coughs, colds, sore throats
  • Animal bites
  • Jellyfish and Stingray stings
  • Heat Stroke

Emergency Room

When to go to the ER: If you feel that your life or a limb is in danger or believe you are experiencing symptoms of heart attack or stroke, call 911 or go immediately to the emergency room. Here are some additional conditions that should prompt you to seek care at an ER immediately:

  • Chest pain or pressure, especially if it radiates to your arm or jaw or is accompanied by sweating, vomiting or shortness of breath
  • Uncontrolled or severe bleeding
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Severe abdominal or back pain
  • Weakness or paralysis
  • Sudden dizziness, weakness, or changes in vision
  • A head injury
  • Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Head or eye injuries
  • Seizures
  • Loss of vision
  • Changes in mental status, such as confusion or loss of consciousness