Urgent Care Centers usually are not as well-equipped as an emergency department. Remember that many urgent care centers have a very slim profit-to-loss ratio which means that they must have a limited number of staff available for the services that they offer. That is not true with all Medical Centers.
Urgent Care Center usually do have physicians though. They also have nurse practitioner or assistant, Medical assistant and a receptionist. The rule doesn’t apply to all Urgent Care centers though: some Urgent Care centers are very well equipped and have the services of many physicians and nurses. They may even have registered nurses and X-ray technicians.
One thing worth remembering about urgent care centers is that they are really made to look after anyone who has any disease or malady. In fact they have a very solid reason to call 9-1-1 because at times things are not as they seem to be: you might think that you are suffering from a minor case of indigestion when you are myocardial infarction. Similarly you might think that you are having flu, when in fact you are at the verge of pulmonary embolism or stroke. It is better to trust the instincts of the medical staff and act accordingly.
Remember that urgent care centers might not really be very well-equipped which means that doctors and medical staff available might not be able to exactly determine the source of your problem/disease. Remember that many urgent care centers do not have IV medications, IV medications, Oxygen, etc. That means that if you are seriously ill or injured you must consider other options. If you exactly know the nature of your disease you must visit the pertinent Medical Centers. Urgent Care centers might be able to provide you Immediate Care, but ultimately you might have to shift to a hospital.
Also important is to know the potential capabilities of an urgent care center that is located near your house. You could call them up, or visit them to learn more about what they can offer, and under what conditions. You should know as what to expect from them; more importantly, you must know what not to expect from them. In times of emergency your decision making process will be eased, if you have already weighed all the options in advance. It will also facilitate your Immediate Care needs.
As a patient you must understand that the staff of an urgent care center is working for your benefit. They are on your side. Therefore, when they recommend that better shift to a hospital, you must comply. Although it is well within your rights to decline their recommendation, it is not often a very good idea and may result in a disastrous outcome for you. Also remember that the urgent care centers sometimes have a lot of patients lined-up. If they call 9-1-1 or recommend you to visit the hospital, remember that you have to act. The onus is on you to act, not them. They already have a lot of other patients lined-up. If you have any reservations about your transfer to hospital, discuss the matter in detail with the doctor. Again the onus is on you to do the talking. Doctor’s usually do not have a lot of time for explanation, but you must ask if anything concerns you.