ER vs. Walk-In Clinic: Where to go when you need care now

ER vs. Walk-In Clinic: Where to go when you need care now

It might be your first instinct to visit the Emergency Room (ER) when you need care quickly, but walk-in clinics or urgent care centers are well equipped to handle certain types of injuries and illnesses.

Knowing where to go could save you both time and money.


Walk-In Clinic

Always call 911 or go to the nearest ER if you think you could put your life in danger or health at serious risk by delaying care. Go to the ER for trauma and surgical care if your condition is serious, sudden or severe. Walk-in clinics also includes doctor’s offices that do not require you to be an existing patient or have an appointment to receive care. These clinics treat a variety of minor injuries and unexpected illnesses.
Examples of ER medical emergencies:

  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Coughing up or vomiting blood
  • Head or eye injuries
  • High fever with stiff neck, mental confusion or difficulty breathing
  • Poisoning
  • Seizures
  • Serious burns
  • Severe chest pains, numbness in the face, arm or leg; difficulty speaking
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Sudden or unexplained loss of consciousness
Examples of care provided in a walk-in clinic:

  • Cough/cold, sore throat
  • Ear infections
  • Flu
  • Mild asthma
  • Minor burns
  • Minor headache, migraine
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Rashes, minor allergic reactions
  • Sprains
  • Urinary tract infection

For a complete list of walk-in clinic locations at Marshall Health, visit


Marshall Health

Marshall Health is the academic medical team of the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

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