Emergency vs urgent care: The ER isn’t for everything

Get peace of mind, on your time, when a walk-in clinic may meet your needs

A doctor kneels in front of a middle aged patient in the ER or urgent care clinic. Both wear N95 face masks.

Parents know the sound: A loud noise from a nearby room immediately followed by a scream from a child in pain. The subsequent rush to the youngster’s side.

These moments can be confusing for parents, consoling an injured child and trying to figure out what to do.

In the past, instincts and old habits may have led to a costly trip to the emergency room. But families near a Sanford Health location today have a convenient option in case of slips and falls and bumps and bruises that can happen to people of all ages.

Advanced medical care is accessible — even outside regular clinic hours — through walk-in clinics, also called urgent care and acute care. It’s the type of care Sanford Health Walk-in Clinics specialize in.

Some things are true emergencies. In those cases, know that all Sanford Emergency Centers have trained specialists on call 24 hours every day to offer the region’s highest level of trauma care.

How do you know where to go? Check this list of common illnesses, injuries and other conditions and where to get the care you need.

Call 911 or go to the nearest ER for:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Chest pain
  • Deep wounds
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Heart palpitations
  • Head trauma
  • Heat illness
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Fever above 104°
  • Numbness
  • Overdose
  • Seizure
  • Severe pain or headache
  • Shortness of breath

Go to a walk-in clinic for:

  • Body aches
  • Cold
  • Cough
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Earache
  • Fever
  • Minor asthma attack
  • Minor burn
  • Minor broken bones
  • Minor injuries
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rash
  • Sore throat
  • Sprain
  • Urinary tract infection

Not sure where to go? Call My Sanford Nurse:

Learn more

Posted In Emergency Medicine, Orthopedics, Sports Medicine