5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Go to the Emergency Room

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Go to the Emergency Room

You’re feeling ill, and you have an important meeting tomorrow, so you decide to go to the emergency room to get checked out. However, this decision could make your condition worse, not better, because of the following five reasons why you shouldn’t go to the emergency room when you’re sick or injured.

Are you really in danger?

If you’re having a heart attack or bleeding profusely, go directly to an emergency room. But if you’re experiencing pain in your ankle, vomiting, or feeling nauseous and feverish—even with a suspected appendicitis—it’s best to go to urgent care. While ERs are convenient (and free), they can charge higher prices than urgent care centers and often take much longer. Your health is more important than your time, so be smart about where you choose to seek treatment. And when in doubt? Check with ZocDoc—we can connect you with a medical professional right away.

The first thing you should do when you’re in pain is be honest with yourself. Just because you’re there doesn’t mean it’s an emergency. There are many things that fall into what some people might call normal pain, but there are others that are very clearly not. No one wants to wait around at a hospital while they could be getting better at home—so know when it’s time to go and when it’s time to wait.

Is your injury or illness really an emergency? Don’t go to an ER for a common cold, sore throat, a sprained ankle or even chest pain from gas or indigestion. An urgent care center can typically treat such conditions faster and more efficiently, notes Consumer Reports. And if you have a life-threatening emergency, like difficulty breathing, call 911 instead of driving yourself. Urgent care centers are best suited for dealing with non-life threatening medical issues like cuts that need stitches, minor burns and broken bones. Most can provide basic treatment for heart attacks and seizures, but they typically don’t carry all of the lifesaving equipment found in hospitals.