Medical emergencies aren’t always obvious and can affect you or a loved one without warning. Your first reaction may be concern or confusion – “what is this, and what should I do about it?” In that moment, calling 911 and seeking emergency care could save a life.
But do you know which option for emergency care is best suited for your needs? Here are some basic guidelines to help understand the difference between a hospital emergency room (ER), neighborhood freestanding emergency room (FSER) and urgent care so you know where to go the next time you experience a medical emergency.
Hospital emergency room vs. freestanding emergency room
Your neighborhood, Methodist ER is an extension of your Methodist hospital emergency department, which provides safe, quality emergency medical services, close to home.
Similar to the hospital ER, freestanding emergency rooms treat potentially life-threatening conditions, including:
- Chest pain
- Suspected heart attack or stroke
- Broken bones, severe burns, deep wounds
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- High fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration
- Severe stomach pain
Freestanding emergency rooms are conveniently located throughout San Antonio to provide emergency services near your neighborhood. As an extension of the hospital emergency department, if your condition requires more specialized care you will be transferred to the corresponding Methodist hospital.
Both hospital emergency rooms and freestanding emergency rooms offer care 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
The cost to receive treatment is often determined by your insurance. Here are a few resources to help you better plan financially for an emergency:
- Patient Payment Estimator
- Accepted Insurance Plans/Network List
- Health coverage impacted by COVID-19?
Urgent care locations or walk-in clinics typically treat a wide range of non-life-threatening conditions, oftentimes without an appointment, in the evenings and on weekends.
Common reasons to visit an urgent care clinic, include:
- COVID–19 testing
- Cold, flu or seasonal allergies and illnesses
- Sports physicals
- Rashes or skin conditions
- Breaks, twists and sprains
- Sore throats
- Bug bites, stings, poison ivy
- Minor burns
Methodist Healthcare | CareNow® Urgent Care clinics are also connected to other providers, specialties and hospitals within Methodist Healthcare. If your health concerns need additional treatment, you will be quickly referred to one of the many affiliated specialists near you.
|If you or a loved one are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately.
If you are experiencing a non-life-threatening emergency and are still unsure of whether to visit the emergency room, Call-A-Nurse. We have phone lines staffed 24-hours a day, seven days a week with registered Methodist Healthcare nurses ready to help you and your family.