Differences Among Urgent Care, Hospital Emergency Room, and FSERs

Urgent care centers. Freestanding emergency facilities. Hospital ERs.

Medical care has never been more accessible than it is now. But when you’re in the middle of a medical emergency, choosing one of the many options available to you for emergency care can be daunting and confusing.

At Concho Valley ER, we understand there are several different medical care options available today to you. How do you choose the best one for your situation? Keep reading to learn more about the difference between urgent care facilities, traditional hospital emergency rooms, and freestanding emergency rooms.

Urgent Care Facility

Urgent care facilities treat minor, non-life-threatening illnesses, and injuries. If you feel like you need a doctor now, but aren’t in an emergent situation, an urgent care facility may be a good option for you.

Some of the conditions commonly treated at urgent care facilities include:

    • Minor cuts and lacerations
    • Sprains
    • Low-grade fevers
    • Infections, like UTIs
    • Flu and strep throat

Urgent care facilities are also commonly staffed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants, not physicians. It’s important to remember that urgent care facilities usually have standard business hours and aren’t open late into the night or on certain holidays. For these reasons, you may choose to seek immediate attention at an emergency center as opposed to waiting until urgent care opens.

Hospital Emergency Room

Traditional, hospital-based emergency rooms are equipped to deal with a complete range of emergent conditions, including surgery. They also offer an extended observation and a separate in-patient department.

Unfortunately, hospital emergency rooms are often congested and slow-moving due to strained resources and staff. And since they utilize the triage system, many patients with painful, but non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses may not be seen for hours. Location may also be an issue for some patients who live further away from the hospital, which is often located in cities and less commonly in rural or suburban areas.

Freestanding Emergency Room

Like a hospital emergency room, freestanding emergency rooms are equipped to deal with a wide range of emergent conditions.

Some of these conditions include:

    • Major cuts and lacerations
    • Stroke
    • Heart attack and irregular heartbeat
    • Broken bones
    • Seizures
    • High-grade fevers
    • Major physical trauma like concussions

In addition, freestanding emergency rooms are able to treat minor emergencies, too. Waiting for hours at a traditional emergency room to be seen with a painful, but the non-life-threatening condition is impractical and inefficient. Specifically allocated resources at freestanding emergency centers, like Concho Valley ER, allow for quick, compassionate, and individualized care, and often with no wait.

When you’re in the middle of a medical emergency, driving thirty minutes or more can make a huge, even life-altering difference in how effectively you’re able to be treated. Concho Valley ER is located conveniently between multiple communities so that emergency care is widely and immediately available.

For more information about freestanding emergency rooms, visit this link.

Have more questions? Feel free to tweet us with any comments or concerns.

Nutex Health, Inc. supports you and your family’s health. With our 24 Hour Emergency Room in San Angelo, we can treat you promptly with our expert team of nurses and board-certified ER doctors.