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Advanced Practice Mental Health and Wellness

630 Chestnut Rd.
Myrtle Beach, SC. 29572
Office: 843-945-1452
Fax: 843-945-1489


Express Care vs. the ER: How to Know Where to Go

Our patients complain that they “always get sick at the worst times.” An accident or injury can interrupt your day without warning, or you might feel sick at times when your doctor isn’t available. In these situations, understanding the levels of acute medical care before you need it can help you focus and get the appropriate help quickly.

What is Acute Medical Care?

Almost everyone is familiar with the emergency room (ER), but there are other options for immediate medical care as well. Express Care is a cross between an ER and a pharmacy clinic. You’ll see a licensed medical care provider at either an ER or an Express Care center, but how do you know where to go?

When To Go To the ER

The ER – or dialing 911 – is the only safe place to go for life-threatening symptoms. These include:

  • Heart attack symptoms, including chest pain, trouble breathing, and clammy skin
  • Stroke symptoms, including trouble speaking or understanding speech, or sudden weakness in the face, arms, or legs
  • Severe trauma, including head injuries
  • Loss of consciousness

When To Go To an Express Care Location

Express Care centers can handle a variety of illnesses or injuries that are not life-threatening, including:

  • Animal bites
  • Broken bones
  • Coughs, sore throats, high fevers, and flu
  • Cuts that require stitches
  • Earaches and sinus pain
  • Eye problems
  • Minor burns
  • Minor headaches or breathing problems
  • Rashes and skin problems
  • Sports injuries
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting or digestive issues

While it’s true that ERs can handle all of the same things that an Express Care center can, you are far more likely to be seen sooner if you go to Express Care. The median ER wait time in the United States is an hour and a half, and the less urgent your situation, the longer you’ll wait to be seen. At Jamison Consultants Integrated Healthcare Services, we pride ourselves on making it easy for our patients to make Express Care appointments for themselves and their families and getting them the care they need as quickly as possible. Click here to find a Jamison Express Care location near you.