Urgent Care vs Emergency Room: How To Make The Decision

GREENSBORO, NC -- You know the saying, "It's better to be safe than sorry." It holds true especially when it's a health situation. But you don't want to waste time or money going to the emergency room when all you really need is urgent care.

2WTK took a trip to the Cone Health Systems Pediatric ER to talk to Dr. Timothy Gale.

The little guy in the bed, was wheezing, a lot. Dr. Gale says trouble breathing and badly broken bones are what the ER was made for.

"Any kind of difficulty with breathing, severe shortness of breath, any kind of traumas. If you can see the area itself is broken or a bone is sticking through the surface, that is something you need to see in the ER. If someone falls and is having bruising or tenderness to the area the urgent care can always be an option."

Dr. Gale says urgent care is probably more suited for the common colds, coughs, congestion and minor cuts. What's minor to me, may not be minor to you. So we asked Dr. Gale to clarify, "major lacerations are things that are deeper on the face, something gaping or if it involves the lip or comes from an animal bite that's what we usually handle more so in the emergency room."

If the cut is more than three to four inches long, go to the ER. If it you have a snake bite, go to the ER.

Check out Cone Health System's guide to ER vs Urgent Care.


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