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Should You Go to Urgent Care or the Emergency Room?

When you’re experiencing a medical issue that requires immediate attention, it can be confusing to try and figure out whether you should head to an urgent care clinic or go straight to the emergency room. Both names imply that you need prompt medical attention, so what’s the difference?

Fast Track Urgent Care is here to help you figure out whether you should visit the emergency room or our urgent care clinics in Kensington or Silver Spring, MD. Learn more below, or you can call us at 800-417-1164 or contact us online if you have further questions.

What Is the Purpose of an Urgent Care Clinic?

Fast Track Urgent Car is an urgent care facility that functions as a capable bridge between a hospital emergency room and a drugstore first aid kit. When you visit our facilities, you don’t have to go through the scheduling nightmare of seeing your primary physician, nor the last and costly resort of going to the emergency room.

Fast Track Urgent Care can treat the following ailments and injuries at our facilities in Silver Spring and Kensington: 

  • Animal bites – Don’t risk infection; get animal bites checked out and treated.
  • Back pain – Our doctors can examine you and let you know if your back pain is a temporary imposition or a more serious condition.
  • Bumps, cuts, and bruises – Again, don’t risk infection. If a cut is deep and/or won’t stop bleeding, get it checked out.
  • Ear or sinus pain – Our doctors and clinicians can help make you more comfortable and diagnose your problem.
  • Eye swelling or pain – Any eye problem should be examined before it worsens.
  • Infections – If you suspect infection, get it checked out.
  • Mild asthma – Urgent care can provide relief. We have nebulizers at both of our locations.
  • Minor fevers, coughs, and sore throats – When you can’t see your regular doctor, but need relief, we can help.
  • Minor headaches – A nagging headache may indicate a more serious problem.
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea – These symptoms bring a risk of dehydration; our clinic doctors can help.
  • Sprains or strains – Get your minor injury taken care of as soon as possible.

Fast Track Urgent Care also provides:

  • Flu shots – Don’t let the flu slow you down! Both of our walk-in clinics can administer the flu shot and the flu mist.
  • School physicals – Get your kids ready to start the school year or enroll in a new school.
  • Sports physicals – Don’t risk losing eligibility—get your sports physical on time!
  • Stitches – We can treat your minor cuts.
  • STD testing – We provide discreet, professional testing for sexually transmitted diseases.
  • X-Rays

Basically, if you would usually visit your primary care physician for an issue but they are closed or unable to fit you in for an appointment, you should come to an urgent care clinic. However, if you are experiencing a severe medical emergency, urgent care may not be the right choice.

If you still aren’t sure whether or not your medical issue warrants a visit to the emergency room, we can help! Call our team of board-certified doctors at 800-417-1164 or contact us online with any questions or concerns you may have.

When Should I Go the Emergency Room?

Some medical conditions are considered emergencies because they can require immediate advanced treatment, like surgery, which urgent care clinics are unable to provide.

We suggest going to the emergency room or calling 911 if you experience the following medical issues:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Intense pain in the back or abdomen
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sudden, severe headache
  • Broken bones
  • Dislocated joints
  • Deep cuts requiring stitches (particularly on the face)
  • Eye or head injuries
  • Serious burns

Additionally, we recommend going to the emergency room if you have a history of heart disease or have had a prior heart attack and are experiencing chest pains. If you’re experiencing these or any other life-threatening medical emergencies, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room as soon as possible. 

Do Urgent Care Centers Accept Insurance?

Fast Track Urgent Care accepts most insurance plans. If you do not see your provider listed here, please give us a call at 800-417-1164.

When Is Urgent Care the Right Option?

Some of the advantages of choosing Fast Track include:

  • Accessibility. There is no need to make an appointment at our walk-in clinics.
  • Availability. Our board certified doctors and clinicians are accessible when you can’t schedule an appointment with your regular doctor.
  • Service. Typically, the wait at Fast Track Urgent Care is far shorter than the wait at the emergency room.

For Your Urgent Care Needs, Visit Fast Track in Silver Spring,MD or Kensington, MD

When you need urgent care services in Silver Spring and the surrounding area, come to Fast Track Urgent Care. We have two convenient urgent care clinic locations open during regular business hours AND on evenings and weekends—when your doctor’s office is closed!

Get medical treatment when you need it at a Fast Track Urgent Care walk-in clinic. Visit either one of our two urgent care locations without an appointment:

Fast Track Urgent Care Silver Spring

Address: 13428 New Hampshire Ave Silver Spring, MD 20904
Weekdays Hours: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
Weekend Hours: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

Fast Track Urgent Care Kensington

Address: 10540 Connecticut Ave, Kensington, MD 20895
Weekdays Hours: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
Weekend Hours: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

Call 800-417-1164 to reach either location, or contact us online now!