When Should You Visit the Emergency Room or Come to QueensCare Health Centers?

We don’t ever expect to get sick or hurt, but when we do, it’s essential to know where to go for the proper care for your or your family’s health needs. According to the CDC, emergency rooms have continually grown since 1990, often for healthcare needs that can be addressed in primary care and non-emergency healthcare facilities like QueensCare Health Centers (QHC). As a result, emergency rooms have become crowded and created longer wait times for patients, making the care experience difficult for everyone.

We’ve put together some guidelines detailing when you should go to a community health center or when you might need emergency room services.

WALK-IN COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS – Routine, Non-Emergency, Scheduled, Same-Day, Non-Life Threatening, Minor Illness

Community health centers include healthcare providers you regularly see for general health and preventative care. These facilities also offer convenient same-day care for minor illnesses and primary healthcare needs for adult and pediatric patients. In some cases, like our Hollywood and East Third Street locations, they have pharmacies conveniently located within them. Health centers are staffed by doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.

Suppose your Primary Care Provider is in a community health center. In that case, your provider will have easy access to your medical history and knowledge of your past and present health conditions and can advise you against potential and future health-related issues.

Chronic pain
Cough and congestion symptoms
Ear or sinus pain
Eye redness, discharge, or itchiness
Fever, cold, sore throat, flu symptoms
Minor burns
Urinary tract infection
Vomiting or persistent diarrhea
Sprains and strains
Small cuts that may require stitches


EMERGENCY ROOM CARE – Severe, Life-threatening Trauma or Health Conditions

Emergency Room care is designated to treat patients experiencing a severe injury, illness, or trauma. These facilities are usually part of a hospital and operate 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. They provide medical support and resources on a walk-in basis or to those brought by ambulance.

Heart attack
Chest pain or difficulty breathing
Fainting dizziness or weakness, or change in mental state
Head, neck, or eye injuries
Weakness or numbness on one side, slurred speech, or stroke
Serious cuts, injuries, or burns
Are pregnant and have signs of bleeding, fever, or vomiting
Broken bones or dislocated joints
Plan to harm yourself
Uncontrolled bleeding


A third option is Urgent Care. These are same-day clinics treating medical issues that are not considered life-threatening emergencies. Before going to an urgent care, you can call your primary care provider at QueensCare Health Centers to see if any same-day appointments with your provider are available. Your Independent Physician Association (IPA) may have a list of urgent cares on their website. Here are a couple of examples:

If you have any questions about when you should go to a primary care services provider like QueensCare Health Centers or an emergency room, please reach out to our Patient Services Center at (323) 635-1140, and they can help answer any questions you may have.