When faced with a medical emergency, you have two choices of places you can visit -; an emergency room or an emergency/urgent care clinic. Both locations treat a number of medical conditions and problems, but they are dramatically different.

The following is a look at how emergency rooms differ from emergency clinics, and when patients should choose one over the other.

The biggest difference between emergency rooms and emergency clinics is the type of treatment that is administered. Both locations focus on providing medical treatment for a number of conditions, but the area of specialty differs when you visit an emergency room or an emergency clinic.

Emergency rooms are typically designed to focus on severe or life-threating conditions. These locations will not only diagnosis a particular life-threating condition, but it can start to administer medical treatment right away.

This access to immediate medical attention is possible because emergency rooms have a number of trained paramedics, surgeons, doctors, and nurses standing by to help patients. If a patient needs emergency surgery, the emergency room and its staff has the equipment, resources, and staff ready to handle such a situation.

An Emergency Clinic in Wailea, on the other hand, is designed to focus on a number of medical conditions and problems that are serious, but non-life threatening. These problems need to be looked at and treated right away, but the patient’s life is not in jeopardy.

Emergency clinics, or walk-in urgent care centers as they are sometimes called, do not have the equipment, staff, or resources to handle life-threating medical problems. If a patient were to come to the center with such a medical problem, they would be referred to an emergency room or paramedics would be called to transport them to an emergency room at a local hospital.

Another difference between the two healthcare providers is the hours they are open. Emergency rooms are open 24/7, seven days a week, and even on holidays. An Emergency Clinic in Wailea may have extended weekend and evening hours, but it is not open 24/7.

If there is any concern over which location to visit, a primary care physician, like Annelle E. Onishi can help you understand the differences and which one is the best to visit for a particular medical problem.