HealthONE - November 20, 2020

When your primary care doctor is unavailable and you find yourself asking “when are my symptoms serious enough to go to the emergency room (ER),” leaving you to choose between going to an urgent care or ER in Denver, there are a few things to consider.

What do urgent care centers treat?

Typically, urgent care centers are staffed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants who treat patients for minor conditions when their general primary care doctors are unable to see them. While urgent care centers are overseen by board-certified physicians, the majority of patients treated are not treated by a board-certified physician. An urgent care center is a great place to have minor health inconveniences treated.

Some reasons to visit an urgent care center include:

  • Boils
  • Common cold
  • Flu
  • Minor burns
  • Rashes
  • Sore throat
  • Sprains

Some urgent care locations may even turn away patients and refer them to the closest hospital if they are experiencing a more serious condition like heart palpitations or excessive bleeding. This is done so patient can receive the most advanced treatment options from an experienced team of caregivers.

When do I go to the ER?

When normal or advanced urgent care does not offer the healthcare services you need, it is recommended to head to the nearest ER. The attention of an experienced team of board-certified doctors and ER nurses you can only find at your nearest ER is a priceless resource for any medical crisis.

Being treated by expert physicians may be the difference in getting an accurate diagnosis in time to save a life or relieve painful symptoms. When you’re in doubt about your or a loved one’s condition, it’s always better to be safe and go to the closest ER.

Some reasons to go to your closest ER include:

  • Animal bites
  • Broken bones
  • Concussion-like symptoms
  • Poisoning
  • Seizures
  • Serious burns
  • Severe chest pain
  • Stroke

For medical emergencies ALWAYS call 9-1-1.

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