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When to Choose Urgent Care Over the Emergency Room

When to Choose Urgent Care Over the Emergency Room

When you’re sick or injured, you face several choices. You can wait to see whether the problem resolves on its own, make an appointment with your doctor (who may not be available for weeks or months), or go to the emergency room.

But there’s another option that may be a better fit — urgent care

Think of urgent care as the Goldilocks of medical care: When your condition is too serious to wait for an appointment but not serious enough to warrant the emergency room, urgent care is just right. 

In Woodstock, Georgia, you have access to our full-service facility at Woodstock Family Practice & Urgent Care. Dr. James Lee and our team are here for you, whether you make an appointment or come in unannounced. 

We understand that some confusion exists about when you should see us and when you should seek emergency care. Part of the problem stems from the terms “urgent” and “emergency,” which both imply an immediate need. 

Here, Dr. Lee explains the difference between the two types of care so you can confidently make the right call.

When to go to the emergency room

Emergency rooms are hospital departments staffed with doctors and nurses trained in emergency medicine. The facility is open 24/7, so you can show up day or night. 

The emergency room is designed to address life- or limb-threatening illnesses and injuries, and the staff handles complex medical issues that require advanced skills, including surgery.

Here are some symptoms that require emergency care:

This is only a partial list of the signs that you should head to the ER, but you get the picture — anything that indicates trouble with your heart, lungs, or brain, and anything that poses a threat to your life, means making a call to 911.

Americans make 130 million visits to the emergency room every year, but some of them could have — and should have — gone to urgent care.

When to choose urgent care

Our urgent care services are perfect when you’re experiencing an acute health issue that isn’t life-threatening. 

We aren’t open 24/7, but we are open until 6:30pm on weekdays and most Saturdays and offer same-day, walk-in appointments so we can treat your urgent medical issues, such as:

If you don’t have a primary care physician, talk to Dr. Lee. He’s an experienced, board-certified family practitioner who takes a holistic approach to your health and wellness. In addition to quality urgent care, Dr. Lee also offers:

To learn more about our urgent care facility or to become a new patient, call our friendly staff or book an appointment using our online scheduling tool. We’re here to help whenever you need us. 

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