Things That You Can Go to Urgent Care for Instead of the ER

When you or one of your family members are sick or get an injury, the first thing you may think of is heading straight to the emergency room. This is a way to get your condition examined quickly, but at a cost. The average amount of money a person pays when visiting the ER is over $2,000. Even with insurance, this can add up to large out-of-pocket expenses. By contrast, going to an urgent care clinic can save you money while still getting you and your family the quality care you deserve. Here are some things that can be handled at your local urgent care clinic by an on-staff doctor, nurse, or nurse practitioner.

Broken bones/sprains

Many urgent care clinics have on-site X-ray machines and equipment needed to set a basic broken bone or sprained body part. As long as there is no protruding bone or other serious trauma to the patient, there is usually no need to go to the ER for these types of common injuries. Broken arms, wrists, legs, ankles, and sprains in the wrist, neck, or ankle area are common.

Animal bite

If you or someone you love gets bitten by a dog, cat, bird, or other animal, and the wound is not on the face, treatment at an urgent care center is adequate for your needs. An injury to the face may require a special surgeon to do the work, which can mean a referral to the hospital. Even if you go to the ER for a bite, if it is very severe, you may be referred to a specialist. A bite must be treated professionally to prevent infection, and if an animal is involved in the case, the police are automatically notified to make sure the aggressor is contained.


If you or anyone in your family experiences a burn that turns white or grey quickly, starts to concave, turns leathery, or loses pain quickly, you need to see a doctor right away, and going to the ER is likely your best option. These are signs of a third degree burn, which can cause permanent tissue and nerve damage and must be seen by a burn specialist as soon as possible. On the other hand, a first or second degree burn is very painful, red, and swollen and can be treated successfully at a health clinic. When in doubt, go the ER, but if you are sure the burn is not severe or the clinic is closer and can see you sooner, go there for immediate treatment.

If you have other questions about ailments and injuries that can be treated at an urgent care, talk to a facility like Meadowbrook Urgent Care near you.