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Urgent Care or Emergency?


In times of injury, sickness, and other medical crises, it isn’t always clear where you should seek medical attention for yourself or a loved one. In most cases you can turn to your primary care provider, but what about those times when making an appointment isn’t an option? Should you turn to an urgent or emergency care center?

Is it urgent?

Seeking medical help at an urgent care center is most appropriate when you need to get in to see a doctor right away, but your symptoms are not lifethreatening. 

  • Minor cuts
  • Minor sprains and strains
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Fevers and the flu
  • Back pain
  • Minor skin irritation and rashes
  • Minor stomach aches
  • Ear infections

If you have a medical condition that requires routine care, ask your primary care provider about situations in which routine, urgent, or emergency care might be the most appropriate option.

Most urgent care centers have set hours. If you need immediate medical help during off hours, go to your nearest emergency center.

Is it an emergency?

The moments after an injury or in a medical crisis are the most critical. Emergency centers provide treatment based upon the severity of symptoms and illnesses. 

When to go to an Emergency Center

Common reasons to go to an Emergency Center include:

  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Head injury or broken bones
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness
  • Poisoning or suspected overdose
  • Sudden slurred speech, visual changes, or weakness
  • Coughing up or vomiting blood

If the situation is life-threatening, CALL 911 for an ambulance. Paramedics can begin treatment immediately while in transit to the hospital. Do not try to drive to the emergency center if you or someone else needs immediate care.

Find the ER or Urgent Care that makes the most sense for you. Click the ER location below to see the average wait time over the last hour, or check-in online at one of our three area urgent cares.

24/7 Emergency Centers
Fort Hamilton Hospital
Grandview Medical Center - Level III Trauma Center
Greene Memorial Hospital - Level III Trauma Center
Huber Health Center
Kettering Medical Center - Level II Trauma Center
Soin Medical Center - Level III Trauma Center
Southview Medical Center
Sycamore Medical Center
Kettering Health Network —Franklin
Preble County Medical Center

Kettering Urgent Care Centers
Beavercreek Health Park
Huber Health Center
Xenia