Urgent Care in Idaho  | Caldwell Urgent Care ClinicWhen faced with a medical issue, it's important to know when you should skip the doctor's office and seek help at an urgent care center or an emergency room. Understanding the differences between these two options can help you make the best decision for your health and ensure that you receive the right kind of care as quickly as possible.

You'll want to consider the severity of the issue, wait time, time of day, availability of medical records, follow-up care, and cost when determining if you should visit the urgent care or ER. Here, we briefly discuss each of these factors and why Core Medicine of Idaho is the smart choice for your urgent care needs.

Severity of the Issue

If your medical issue is potentially life-threatening, go to the ER immediately. Examples of concerns that should be seen at an ER include:

  • Chest pain
  • Stroke or heart attack symptoms
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Head trauma
  • Seizures

For non-life-threatening but still time-sensitive issues, you can go to an urgent care center. An urgent care center like Core Medicine of Idaho can treat:

  • Cuts and scrapes
  • Ear infections
  • Minor broken bones
  • Sprains and strains
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Rashes and skin irritations
  • Back pain
  • Animal bites

Wait Time

Wait times at any medical center will vary depending on staffing availability and patient needs. However, an urgent care is typically the quicker option. In an urgent care center, you can expect a wait time of around 30 to 60 minutes. In an ER, the wait time can be much longer depending on how busy the hospital is and you may need to wait several hours for treatment.

At Core Medicine of Idaho, we understand that navigating the medical system can be extremely frustrating. Our goal is to provide you with the care you need as quickly and efficiently as possible—while still taking the time to answer any questions you might have about your treatment options.

Time of Day

Urgent care centers are typically open longer hours than primary care doctors' offices and are open on weekends and holidays. This can be particularly important for parents of young children, as you may not want to wait for an appointment if your child is unwell and you're not sure what is wrong.

Emergency rooms are open 24/7, but patients are triaged based on the severity of their condition. If you visit an ER with a non-life-threatening condition, you can expect a significant wait time.

Availability of Medical Records

If you have a chronic condition or a history of medical issues, it's best to go to your primary care physician. If you're unable to see your primary care doctor, urgent care centers may have access to your medical records. However, emergency rooms do not always have access to a patient's medical history.

If you are seeing visit an urgent care center or ER, it's always a good idea to bring the following:

  • Your current driver's license or another form of ID
  • Insurance card, if applicable
  • Payment for any co-pay that may be required or payment for self-pay service
  • List of medications you're taking, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs
  • Medical history, including any existing medical conditions, allergies, or surgeries that you've had in the past

Follow-Up Care

Urgent care centers typically offer follow-up care, while emergency rooms do not. Your primary care doctor be able to provide follow-up care after you've been released from an ER visit.

If you do not currently have a primary care doctor, you may be surprised to learn that Core Medicine of Idaho also offers family practice care for both children and adults. In fact, many of our urgent care patients continue to be seen at our family practice for their ongoing medical needs.

Avoid High ER Bills By Visiting a Caldwell Urgen Care

Typically, ER visits are more expensive than urgent care visits, and the cost of treatment can vary greatly depending on your insurance coverage. It's important to check with your provider first to understand what is covered and how much you may need to pay out-of-pocket.

If you do not have insurance, urgent care centers offer self-pay options. Core Medicine of Idaho accepts most major forms of insurance and provides convenient self-pay options for patients without insurance coverage.