Urgent Care vs. Emergency Care: What You Need to Know

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Find a St. Luke's Urgent Care Clinic, Walk-in Clinic, or Emergency Department location near you.

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St. Luke’s Urgent Care and Walk-in Clinics provide medical treatment of illnesses or injuries that require immediate attention but are not life-threatening. Patients who can’t get in immediately to see their primary care doctor, don’t have a doctor, or are visiting from out of town can walk in for medical care and avoid a trip to the emergency department.

To receive the most appropriate medical care, it’s important to know the difference between urgency and emergency.

Urgent Care and Walk-in Clinics

Choose an Urgent Care or Walk-in Clinic when your condition requires immediate attention but is not life-threatening, such as:

  • Fever
  • Ear pain
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Respiratory illness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Urinary infection
  • Sprains and strains
  • Puncture wounds and lacerations
  • Minor burns


Emergency Department

Call 911 immediately or go directly to the nearest emergency department for life-threatening conditions, such as:

  • Chest pain
  • Stroke
  • Head injury
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Seizure
  • Bleeding
  • Broken bones
  • Major burns


In a life-threatening situation, call 911 without delay.


To receive the most appropriate medical care, it's important to know the difference between an urgent medical need and an emergency situation.


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