When should I go to urgent care?

You should go to urgent care if your pediatrician or family doctor is unavailable. Urgent care centers can treat the following conditions:

  • sore throat
  • minor burns
  • flu symptoms
  • allergies
  • cuts and bruises
  • ear infections
  • sinus infections
  • low-grade fevers

You should go to an urgent care center if you have a condition, illness or injury that needs to be treated right away but is not life-threatening. Urgent care is a good place to receive care after hours, holidays or when your primary care provider isn't available. Urgent care providers will treat the problem, then recommend follow-up with your primary care doctor or nurse.

Go to urgent care for:

  • back strains
  • bladder infections
  • bug bites or small animal bites
  • coughs, congestion and sinus problems
  • ear infections
  • fractures
  • mild fevers
  • minor burns
  • minor lacerations
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • pink eye or other minor eye problems
  • rashes
  • sprains or minor injuries
  • throat pain

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.

Go to urgent care if you need medical help, but it isn't serious. Think of urgent care as a stand-in for your family doctor when they are not available. Consider an urgent care center if you’re suddenly sick, but it isn’t life-threatening.

Some conditions more suited to an urgent care center are:

  • earache
  • flu or cold
  • mild fever
  • minor broken bone or back pain
  • minor injury like sprain, cut and mild burn
  • rash
  • sore throat

If the urgent care center can't help you, the team will refer you to the emergency room (ER).

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You need to go to the urgent care center if your condition needs to be assessed urgently and your doctor is not available. For example, your cold has worsened and you think you may be getting pneumonia, but your doctor is not available for a while. In this case, you may want to go to an urgent care facility. It is not the most efficient type of health care and should only be used if you can't get an appointment with your primary care provider or you need medical care during the weekend or evenings.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.