What Is the Difference between Urgent Care and a Walk-in Clinic?

What Is the Difference between Urgent Care and a Walk-in Clinic?

Joshua Emergicare offers a wide range of services through our urgent care for patients in the Omaha, NE area! Call us today or visit us online to book an appointment.

Walk-in Urgent Care Clinic Near Me in Omaha, NE
Walk-in Urgent Care Clinic Near Me in Omaha, NE

Table of Contents:

What is the difference between urgent care and a walk-in center?
What is the exact purpose of an urgent care clinic?
Is urgent care more convenient than the ER or doctor?
Is it better to go to the ER or urgent care?

What is the difference between urgent care and a walk-in center?


When it comes to medical care, people have several different options for seeing a doctor get a diagnosis and any necessary treatment. While their primary care doctor should be the first point of contact, this isn’t always possible when medical issues come up outside of standard doctor’s office hours. Depending on the volume of patients and appointments that a person’s primary doctor has, it can also take several days to get an available appointment. These types of situations are where walk-in clinics and urgent care come into play. They both provide care to people seeking medical attention without the need for an appointment.

A walk-in clinic can handle many minor illnesses or injuries, providing a quick and convenient option for medical treatment. However, they aren’t able to perform more complicated procedures or advanced testing. Many urgent cares offer on-site diagnostic testing such as x-rays and laboratory services to quickly and efficiently process and analyze tests such as bloodwork, urinalysis, and STD tests. Neither option is set up to handle life-threatening conditions and patients requiring emergency, potentially life-saving treatment need to go to a hospital emergency room.

What is the exact purpose of an urgent care clinic?


Urgent care provides people with an additional option for seeking out immediate medical care to keep minor to moderate ailments out of the hospital emergency rooms. They also provide more advanced testing and treatments than a walk-in clinic, providing a middle ground between an emergency room and a walk-in clinic. By diverting patients to urgent care, hospital emergency rooms can provide the immediate, potentially life-saving treatment that their patients require. Urgent care also makes for a much faster and more cost-effective treatment option for people compared to an emergency room.

Many urgent care centers offer a wider range of diagnostic testing options than a walk-in clinic, such as on-site x-rays and laboratory services. This provides patients with the ability to have these tests done as part of their assessment so that the doctor can make the proper diagnosis and provide the best treatment plan, without the patient having to wait for an appointment to have these additional tests completed.

Is urgent care more convenient than the ER or doctor?


Knowing which option for medical care to seek out will be dependent on the type and severity of the condition or medical concern. A trip to the ER should be reserved for life-threatening medical issues or complex situations where an existing condition can make treatment more difficult. Your primary care doctor should ideally be your first point of contact for any medical concerns, however, they may not be available when you need them. This can be due to their office hours or an already full appointment schedule.

Urgent care provides an easy and convenient option to seek out care for medical concerns when you aren’t able to see your primary doctor, but the condition isn’t serious enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room. These centers operate on a first-come, first-served basis to get patients seen as quickly as possible. This means that patients will be seen that day, and typically faster than if they had gone to an emergency room, where patients will be seen based on the severity of their condition.

Is it better to go to the ER or urgent care?


The decision to go to an emergency room or urgent care for assessment and any necessary treatment will depend on the concern that the patient is experiencing. For any life-threatening condition, if a broken bone has penetrated through the skin, or there are additional medical issues at play that can complicate the issue or treatment, seeking care through the emergency room will be your best.

In the case of most other issues, urgent care will be able to provide the appropriate assessment, diagnostic testing, and treatment without the long wait and large bill of an emergency room visit. At Joshua Emergicare, we provide a wide range of services through our urgent care for patients in the Omaha NE area. Patients can either call ahead to book an appointment with our urgent care, or they can simply walk in during our open hours, to see one of our doctors. We serve patients from Omaha NE, Boys Town NE, La Vista NE, Papillion NE, and Bellevue NE.