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

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

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 care, also called urgent care and acute care.

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 with difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Deep wounds
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Fever above 104°
  • Head trauma
  • Heart palpitations
  • Heat illness
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Numbness
  • Overdose
  • Pregnancy-related concerns
  • Seizure
  • Serious head, neck or back injuries
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Severe broken bones
  • Severe burns
  • Severe pain or headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden confusion, changes in mental status or loss of consciousness
  • Sudden dizziness or weakness in the face, arm or leg
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Suicidal thoughts

Get care from acute/urgent care for:

  • Body aches
  • Cold
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Earache
  • Fever below 104°
  • Minor asthma attack
  • Minor burn
  • Minor broken bones
  • Minor injuries
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rash
  • Sore throat
  • Sprain
  • Urinary tract infection

You can get acute/urgent care 24/7 virtually. Start an e-visit or a video visit through My Sanford Chart.

Not sure where to go? Call My Sanford Nurse:

Learn more

Posted In Emergency Medicine, Orthopedics, Sports Medicine