Skip to main content
doctor holding folder and pen

What is a Convenient Care Center?

What Is the Difference Between Urgent Care, Convenient Care and ER?

It’s wonderful to have so many different options for medical care when the need arises. With choices like convenient care, urgent care, and the emergency room, you know you can get illnesses and injuries treated even if your primary care physician is booked. But how do you decide which service to use? Each type of care has extended hours and accepts walk-ins, so you can be seen quickly outside normal working hours. But there can be significant differences between these services, as well. Knowing those differences can help you choose the best option when you need medical care fast.

Convenient Care Madison, IN.

Convenient care clinics are an ideal choice when a minor illness or injury has you seeking prompt medical attention — for example, a sinus infection, a urinary tract infection, or a mild skin rash. Staffed by nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, these clinics also offer basic preventive care — such as flu shots — and physicals, providing a helpful alternative if you can’t get in to see your primary care doctor as soon as you’d like. Patients are typically seen on a first-come, first-served basis, and the cost tends to be lower than urgent or emergency care. Consider visiting a convenient care center for the following:

  • COVID-19 evaluation
  • Sinus infection
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Lacerations that may require stitches
  • Ear infection
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Insect bite
  • Fever
  • Sprain or strain to ankle, wrist, knee, or shoulder
  • A rash, such as poison ivy
  • Bronchitis or pneumonia
  • Flu shot
  • Sports physical
  • School or employee physical

Urgent Care

Like convenient care, urgent care offers extended hours and tends to be less expensive than an emergency room visit. With physicians on staff, urgent care can provide many of the services found in convenient care clinics, but it can also be a smart choice for non-life-threatening conditions that require prompt treatment, such as a broken bone. Often, you’ll have a shorter wait time in urgent care than you would in an emergency department, where life-threatening conditions are prioritized.

Whether you choose convenient care or urgent care, it’s wise to make sure the care provider is in your insurance network so you can avoid unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses.

Emergency Room

Open 24/7, the emergency room (ER) is your best choice for severe pain and injury. In fact, if the condition appears life-threatening or if someone is unresponsive, it’s a good idea to call 911 immediately. Costs are higher for ER care, but emergency departments are fully equipped to treat serious conditions. Choose the ER in the following situations:

  • Severe chest pain or difficulty breathing
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Poisoning
  • Severe pain
  • Moderate to severe burns
  • Sudden vision impairment
  • Compound fracture (bone protruding through skin)
  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Sudden weakness of an arm or leg, or difficulty speaking
  • Injury to head, neck, back, or abdomen

Convenient Care Center at Norton King’s Daughters’ Health

If you have a minor illness or injury and want accessible care on short notice, come to Norton King’s Daughters’ Health Convenient Care Center. Our competent, caring staff can provide all the typical convenient care services, perform basic laboratory tests – such as pregnancy and blood glucose tests, and urinalysis – and offer on-site medical imaging. To find out more about our convenient care center and the services we provide, call 812-273-5372 or visit our website to reserve your spot.

Subscribe to This Week in Health to get the latest health news delivered to your inbox.