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Freestanding ER vs. Urgent Care

When is an Emergency Room (ER) the Right Choice VS. an Urgent Care: Making the Right Decision is Key to your Health and Well Being

For preventative and routine health care needs, it is appropriate to visit with your primary care doctor. However, not all health care needs can be treated by your primary care doctor during normal business hours. Emergencies occur randomly, at all hours of the day, and in a variety of situations. Given the variety of complexity of the emergent medical condition, it can be challenging to figure out where to go for the most appropriate care, especially given that an emergent or urgent situation can happen during the evenings, nights, and weekends.

Should you go to the nearest Freestanding Emergency Room, a large Hospital Emergency Room, or to an Urgent Care clinic?

You may be hesitant to go to a hospital emergency room because of the allegedly long wait times or the complaints of being rushed out without getting your full story heard. Large hospitals are appropriate when you have a major trauma such as a gun shot wound to the chest or a major illness such as a massive stroke. However, most emergencies do not require a major trauma center with multiple specialists. Unlike large hospital emergency room, Freestanding Emergency Rooms offer concierge and compassionate health care in a warm, welcoming, and soothing environment. Freestanding ER’s are often the most appropriate place to go depending on the nature of your illness or injury. At Community First Emergency Room, you will never have to endure a long wait before being seen and treated. Our physicians will spend time with you to ensure that you receive the highest concierge level of care; we ensure that you feel heard and that your complaints are thoroughly addressed and treated.

Understanding the differences between Freestanding ERs, Hospital Emergency Rooms, and Urgent Care clinics

You may think Freestanding ERs and urgent care clinics are one and the same, but there are some distinct differences to be aware of:

  • Hours of operation: One of the main differences between Freestanding ERs and urgent care clinics is their hours of operation. Freestanding ERs are open 24 hours a day/ seven days a week, including holidays. Urgent care clinics, on the other hand, are only open on certain days of the week and at specified times.
  • Types of conditions they each treat: Freestanding ERs and urgent care clinics are each equipped to treat different types of conditions. Going to the ER is the best choice if you suspect you’re having a stroke, heart attack, or are suffering from another serious medical condition like a burn. Selecting the nearest urgent care clinic is probably most appropriate when you have a non-urgent medical condition like a low-grade fever, minor discomfort, light headache, or a minor cut. 
  • Access to equipment and laboratories:
Hospital Emergency RoomFreestanding Emergency RoomUrgent Care
MRI
CT Scan
Ultrasound
X-ray
CT Scan & Ultrasound
X-ray
On site labs
In house pharmacy
X-ray (rarely)
On site labs (rarely)
  • Other Services:
Hospital Emergency RoomFreestanding Emergency RoomUrgent Care
Major Trauma Care
(i.e. gunshot wound)

Emergency Surgery
(i.e. burst appendix)
Board Certified Doctors Available 24/7
Open 24/7/365
Imaging: CT Scan, X-ray, Ultrasound
Financial Advocate on-site
Nurse Practitioners
Hours Vary
May not have X-ray or labs
No financial advocate
(Patients will deal with separate 3rd party billing)
You many have to wait in line

When you need to seek Emergency Care

There are specific symptoms you cannot ignore or wait until you can see your regular physician. If you or your child is experiencing any of the following, head to the nearest Emergency Room:

Community First Emergency Room | Freestanding ER vs. Urgent Care
  • Chest pains
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Severe headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Fainting 
  • Stroke symptoms such as facial paralysis or slurred speech
  • Broken bones
  • High fever
  • Head injury 
  • Neck and back pain 
  • Injuries sustained in motor vehicle collisions  
  • Heat exhaustion and dehydration 

How to prepare:

Whether you’re headed to the Emergency Room, Hospital ER, or Urgent Care clinic, you will need to be prepared. Make sure to bring a list of all current medications (including those that are over-the-counter), vitamins, and supplements you or your loved one is currently taking as well as the dosages. Also, it’s a good idea to have a list handy of any allergies (including allergy medications) readily accessible. 

Ready when you need us 

Regardless of what type of medical situation you may be facing, Community First ER is here to help. There’s no need to make an appointment, and you won’t have to wait. Our board-certified physicians and nurses will always be ready to see you. We understand that emergencies aren’t always convenient, which is why we do everything we can to make your experience with us as hassle-free as possible. From the moment you arrive at Community First ER to the moment you leave us our compassionate and knowledgeable staff will take care of you or your family member appropriately. If your condition warrants transportation to a local hospital, we can easily arrange this using our ambulance and helipad services. Our 9,000 square foot facility includes an onsite lab, radiology, and imaging services and is equipped to provide adult, pediatric, and adolescent emergency and critical care. We strive to provide the most effective and most efficient medical care in a stress-free and comfortable environment. 

We are here to help  

At Community First ER, we are committed to providing you the best possible care now and always. With adult and pediatric emergency care available, we have a team of board-certified medical and surgical specialists we consult to help manage our patients and their medical emergencies. We form relationships with local doctors to ensure that our patients have access to the best specialists for their individual needs. You can call ahead and discuss your symptoms at any time. 

We are Community First Emergency Room – committed to putting your community, health, and YOU FIRST, every day.

If you are a loved one experiencing an urgent or emergency medical issue, please contact us right away at 281-343-3134. 

About Community First ER 

Emergency health care is a critical resource. Our commitment is to provide a personal, transparent, and concierge-driven emergency health care experience to our community members. Locally owned and operated by health care providers and partners we trust, we strive to support and create meaningful relationships with those around us. We exist to put your health and wellness first. For more information, visit our website at https://communityfirster.com/ and engage with us on social media!

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