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ER vs. Urgent Care

If you or a loved one have ever had an urgent health situation—a broken bone, the flu, a sprained ankle—you’ve probably wondered whether you should go to your local emergency room or a convenient care facility. It’s important to understand the differences between these two types of facilities and what injuries and conditions can be treated at each one.

An emergency room at a hospital like Tift Regional should be reserved for major emergencies, such as a someone having a heart attack or chest pains, trouble breathing, a stroke or sudden inability to move, loss of consciousness (passing out), bleeding that can’t be stopped, broken bones protruding from the skin, extreme pain, head injuries, severe burns, poisoning, or an emotional or mental health emergency.

However, there are other urgent situations that do not require a visit to an emergency room. Things like cold, flu, sinus infections, sprains, strains, minor fractures, sore throats, urinary tract infections, bronchitis, ear infections, and other minor health problems can be treated at a convenient care facility. Southwell offers two of these facilities, one in Tifton at Affinity ExpressCare, and one in Adel at Southwell Medical Primary Care. Both facilities offer extended hours, with Southwell Medical Adel Primary Care being open Monday-Friday from 8 am to 10 pm and Saturday-Sunday from 10 am to 10 pm. Affinity ExpressCare offers the following extended hours: Monday-Friday from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm and Saturday-Sunday 9 am to 3 pm.

One of the benefits of using a convenient care facility rather than an emergency room for minor illnesses and injuries is that the visit is less expensive than an emergency room visit. Convenient care centers are also open to walk-ins, and you can often be seen more quickly than you would be in an emergency room setting.

You should always call 911 if you are having a true emergency as described above. For minor urgent situations, you can reach Affinity ExpressCare by calling (229) 391-4080 and Southwell Medical Adel Primary Care at (229) 896-3424.