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ER vs. Urgent Care: Which Should You Visit in an Emergency?

You or a family member starts to feel ill. The condition isn’t improving and you may need to see a physician. The problem is that it’s the weekend and your family doctor is unavailable. So what do you do?

For residents in and around Greenfield, there are a couple clear choices for fast and reliable medical care. Depending on the severity of the situation, patients can choose Hancock Regional Hospital’s Emergency Room or a local urgent care clinic. Both options offer a dedicated staff, flexible hours and immediate care. However, one service may be better than the other depending on your individual condition and needs.

Now that you know your options, which do you choose? You need to first determine whether your situation is in fact a serious medical emergency. If you have any of the following symptoms, you should go to the emergency room instead of an urgent care clinic:

  • Significant bleeding
  • Trouble breathing
  • Significant head trauma
  • Major injuries from accidents
  • Chest pain
  • Stroke symptoms
  • Choking
  • Ingesting poison
  • Broken bones
  • Any sudden or rapid changes to your health

Some situations may not require emergency room care but should still be treated by a medical professional. It may be smarter and more convenient to visit an urgent care clinic if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Minor cuts, scrapes and bruises
  • Minor swelling, aches and pains
  • Ear infections
  • Cold symptoms like coughing, sore throat and fever
  • Flu symptoms like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Sprains and minor injuries

Some illnesses and injuries call for obvious emergency medical attention. Others can be more difficult to determine, so trust your own instincts and listen to your body when making a decision.

If you decide to visit a hospital emergency room for your illness or injury, you should first ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the ER open 24 hours a day?
  • Are the physicians and staff board-certified in emergency medicine?
  • Does the ER have up-to-date equipment?
  • Would my family doctor recommend the facility?

At Hancock Regional Hospital, the answer to all of these questions is yes! We’re dedicated to delivering fast, quality and compassionate care to all of our patients and their loved ones. We’re convenient and close to home for residents in Greenfield and the neighboring communities. Our emergency room physicians are trained and board-certified in emergency care, and are on staff 24/7 all year long. Our nurses are highly qualified and our facility is equipped with state-of-the-art technology.

When minutes and seconds count, don’t waste time driving to Indianapolis. You’ll find the same expertise, amenities and technology right here in Greenfield. If your medical needs are less severe, you can also visit our Immediate Care clinics. Don’t settle for average medical care. Expect the extraordinary at Hancock Regional Hospital. 

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