Did you know that the average wait time at an emergency room in New Jersey is roughly a half hour? Furthermore, a ProPublica tracker found that an emergency room wait to treat a broken bone can last just under two hours?

Emergency rooms and related facilities provide critical and life-saving treatments. But patients can experience long-waits as more individuals use the emergency room for minor medical ailments.

To avoid overcrowded ERs and longer-than-normal wait times, try visiting your nearest urgent care center to address any minor and immediate healthcare needs. It is important to know the difference between needing urgent care treatment and emergency treatment to create the highest-quality outcome at the lowest possible cost.

Use an Urgent Care center for illnesses and painful injuries that are not life-threatening

By definition, an urgent care center provides treatment on an immediate basis for unexpected healthcare needs.

Urgent care centers can provide treatments for injuries including cuts, lacerations, fractures, sprains, and some minor breaks. Most urgent care centers are also equipped with lab testing and x-ray services to help diagnose a medical condition and plan your next treatment steps.

In addition, an urgent care center should also provide preventive services, including vaccinations and flu shots, for common diseases and illnesses. Patients can usually walk-in for health screenings, STD tests, and other medical appointments at a fraction of an ER wait.

AFC Urgent Care Hillsdale covers all of the listed services above at convenient hours throughout the day.

You can always use our online check-in if you experience any event that requires urgent care as soon as possible.

Emergency room services address life-threatening and extremely critical situations

Many people confuse “urgent” with “emergency” when it comes to healthcare. Urgent care centers provide a variety of treatments for immediate medical needs that are not life-threatening.

However, in the event that you experience a medical emergency that could lead to death, call 9-1-1 and go to the nearest hospital. A general list of medical emergencies that require ER care are as follows:

  • Punctures or lacerations that won’t stop bleeding through bandages or stitches
  • Respiratory irritation or vomiting with visible blood
  • Poisoning or ingestion of a poisonous substance
  • Signs of a stroke or heart attack
  • Sudden loss of consciousness
  • Sudden loss of movement or an inability to move
  • Severe burn or electrical shock
  • Broken bones that are puncturing or going through the skin
  • Seizuring

Make sure you use ER services when in a medical emergency and urgent care for other immediate and minor medical needs.

The cost of an emergency may be extremely high if you are uninsured or paying out-of-pocket for another reason. If your injury or illness could be treated at an urgent care center, you can usually pay a low-cost out-of-pocket rate for care at AFC Urgent Care Hillsdale.