Urgent Care vs. Emergency Room: What’s the Difference?

Emergency Entrance SignWhenever you feel like vomiting, nauseous, dizzy, or having a fever, the first thing you do is go for basic self-medication. Getting a good rest or popping some pain relievers usually does the trick. But there are times when the severity goes a notch higher and professional medical assistance became an urgent need. That’s why you head straight to the emergency room.

This “misconception” is practiced by many Americans who are either not aware of the existence of urgent care centers in Lehi or are simply used to rushing to the emergency room thinking and hoping they would get the necessary attention right away.

But what are urgent care centers and how is it different or similar to emergency services? Read on to find out.

Symptoms or Injury type

Both medical institutions provide quality care and attention to their patients. The difference lies in the severity of the injury or symptoms one is experiencing. To simplify it, urgent care centers cater to patients who are suffering from minor injuries and conditions, while emergency rooms are for those who have a more complicated and life threatening condition.


Hospitals cannot reject a patient regardless of whether or not he has the capacity to pay. As such, if you are suffering from a sprain, emergency services would treat you, but may also charge you more than what an urgent care center would. This is because most urgent care centers are covered by insurance and other emergency services are not.


It is a known fact that emergency room services are available round the clock, as they are part of the hospital. However, urgent care centers are usually open until 9pm or later, depending on the clinic hours. Lastly, medical professionals in both urgent care centers and emergency rooms are skilled and therefore would definitely be able to take care of you.

So, the next time you need professional medical attention, stay calm and evaluate whether you need to go to an urgent care center or the emergency room.