Urgent Care Centers vs. Emergency Rooms

When you or a loved one needs medical attention, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to turn for help. Depending on the severity of the injury or illness, you will need to choose between going to the emergency room and waiting for hours on end, or heading to your nearby clinic for urgent care in Orange County. Before you leave home for treatment, it is a good idea to see how the two types of medical care stack up against one another. By doing so, you will know what treatments an urgent care center provides, and when you should seek help from an emergency room.

For affordable, fast urgent care, visit Xpress Urgent Care

Emergency Room Specialties

If you are in a life-threatening emergency, it is always best to rush to the emergency room or dial 911. Emergency rooms specialize in treating injuries and illnesses that can be labeled as “catastrophic.” ERs operate on a priority system, where the most severe cases are handled first, before patients with less serious circumstances are seen by medical personnel. If you experience any of the following, visit the ER immediately:

  • Signs of a heart attack or stroke
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Poisoning
  • Severe wounds or injuries that are life- or limb-threatening
  • Coughing up blood


With 6 convenient locations in Tustin, Costa Mesa, Stanton, Cypress, Huntington Beach, and Los Alamitos. We serve North Tustin, Santa Ana, Irvine, Orange, Westminster, Garden Grove, Newport Beach, Cypress, and Anaheim. Xpress Urgent Care has the longest hours of operation out of all the areas we serve. Our urgent care and walk-in clinics are designed to expedite your medical needs, by providing medical care to all ages. We also accept over 40+ different insurance plans.

Urgent Care Clinics

Those that have visited an ER while not in a life-threatening situation know that wait times and out-of-pocket costs can be prohibitive. While this is true for most individuals, receiving quality treatment for ailments is still the number one priority. At Xpress Urgent Care, Orange County residents and family members can get the medical attention they need for everything troubling them. We treat kids and adults of all ages, and we have extended hours because we know situations come up outside of traditional business hours. Urgent care clinics offer you the same quality care and provide you many of the same services you’d get in a hospital.

Additional benefits of visiting your urgent care center include shorter wait times and lower costs. Instead of waiting over three hours to be seen in an emergency room, the average wait time at Xpress Urgent Care is about 15 minutes. At the same time, the average charge for services is around $200, compared to about $1200 at the ER.

Next Steps if You Need Medical Attention

The first thing to do is evaluate the current situation to determine if you need to go to the emergency room, or if you can take advantage of your local urgent care center. Based on the treatment you need, it is then best to consult your insurance policy and get in contact with your provider so you can get a better sense of what your financial responsibility will be. Payment is due upon treatment at the urgent care facility, which consists of your co-pay amount, or the total cost of service if you pay out of pocket.

You can get more information about your treatment options by visiting our brand new facility in Costa Mesa, or by giving us a call at 1-949-548-8400.

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