ALERT

Due to the overwhelming surge in COVID-19 cases and the strain it has placed on health care capacity in the communities we serve, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has activated crisis standards of care statewide. We are open and available to see patients, but you may experience delays at our ERs, hospitals, and clinics. We appreciate your patience. Access more info on COVID testing, vaccination, visitor policy, hospitalization data, and FAQs.

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Urgent vs. Emergency Care: What You Need to Know

It's Important to Understand the Difference Between Urgency and Emergency

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

Urgent Care and Walk-in Clinics

Urgent care and walk-in clinics provide medical treatment of illnesses or injuries that require immediate attention but are not life-threatening. If you can’t get in immediately to see your primary care doctor, don’t have a doctor, or are visiting from out of town, you can walk in for medical care and avoid a trip to the emergency department. Conditions that require immediate attention, but are not life-threatening include:

General Urgent Care

St. Luke's has in-person urgent care clinics as well as virtual urgent care.

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

Orthopedic Urgent Care

St. Luke's also offers orthopedic urgent care in Boise for a variety of conditions:

  • Sports injuries
  • Sprains, strains, and dislocations
  • Suspected fractures
  • Ligament tears
  • Cast or splint issues
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Overuse injuries
  • Painful, swollen joints
  • Pediatric injuries

Virtual Urgent Care Now Available!

Access Urgent Care Services Wherever You Are

St. Luke's now offers virtual urgent care services seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., if appropriate depending on your symptoms. 


If you're an existing St. Luke's patient, simply log in to your MyChart account, answer a few questions about your symptoms, and begin a virtual visit with the next available St. Luke's primary care provider.


You may still have to wait a bit, as you would at an in-person urgent care clinic, but you'll be waiting wherever you choose.